Date: October 25, 2014
Author: Tom Fee / Golf WA

Whiteford steals lead at Perth International

Locals following Stephen Dartnall at the ISPS Handa Perth International were treated to an even bigger show as playing partner Peter Whiteford stole the lead late in Round 2 at Lake Karrinyup.

Whiteford finished with a flourish, shooting 31 on the front nine, including a 30 foot putt from the back of the 7th green for eagle to jump the second placed Thorbjorn Olesen on 11-under.

The stakes are high for Whiteford, who needs to place second or better to keep his European Tour card in 2015.

“No holds barred. It's win or bust.” said Whiteford after the round, who’s feeling the pressure heading into the weekend.

“I’m very nervous.  There's no doubt about is that.  I’ve to just keep attacking and I don't want to go back to qualifying school.  Nobody does.  But I get what I deserve in this game, and I've been awful all year.”

It was a mixed day for WA’s golfers after an impressive showing on the Thursday. Brett Rumford and Stephen Dartnall are the best placed at 5-under in a tie for 12th. Rumford was at one point making a charge for the lead at 8-under before faltering on the front nine to close.

Overnight leader John Wade, a club professional at Commonwealth Golf Club in Victoria, didn’t succumb to pressure of leading a European Tour event, but he wasn’t able to match yesterday’s 8-under performance. An even round 72 was enough to secure a T6 place into the weekend where he will play with 2011 US Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel and Victor Dubuisson in tomorrow’s round.

"Is that right? Ok!" said Wade when finding out about the draw.

"When you play in tournaments like this you get great players to play with. I would have taken making the cut at the start of the week personally. Put it this way, it’s the best place to watch from!”

European Tour regular Richard Green sits along John Wade as the best placed Australian. Green has shot back to back rounds of 68 and is within reach of making a run at his fourth European Tour victory.

The best round of the day, and in Lake Karrinyup’s long history went to Englishman James Morrison. Starting the day below the cut line, Morrison shot a 9-under 63 to break the course record and rise into a tie for 4th place.