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Doyle Advances Up NZ PGA Leaderboard

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Doyle Advances Up NZ PGA Leaderboard

Christchurch club resident professional Anthony Doyle proved he could match it with his travelling counterparts with a bogey-free round of three-under par 69 to scorch up the New Zealand PGA Championship leaderboard in today's second round.

Doyle was tied for 33rd after a one-under 71 on the first day, but with a strong southerly sweeping the course and bringing heavy showers with it, his score equalled the best of the early finishers and had him tied third at four-under par, just three shots behind Australian leader, Ashley Hall, with most of the morning field in the clubhouse. Doyle was in the first group to tee off at 7am and he said the murky conditions caused by the southerly made it difficult to spot the ball and get the yardage right.

``So we took a bit more time out there - I had my percentages and game plan down pat and just focused on my routines. I came off a great front nine (birdies at the second, sixth and seventh) and told myself just to keep doing what I had been doing on the front nine and back yourself,'' Doyle said. ``The best thing about today was my putting, I've had no three-putts for the two rounds and I guess that's where you pick up your shots on the field.''

Doyle's second par for putt on the 18th green from five feet caught the edge but dropped in, but he said the clutch putt was at 17. ``I was down on the bottom tier and hit it about four feet past the hole.'' He holed the return putt and his confidence was high playing the challenging par-4 18th. Doyle said he had spent the last three to four weeks practicing his putting and short game at Clearwater and had benefited from that local knowledge.

But it was not only his putting that was on song. He missed only two greens in regulation and ``maybe one or two fairways''. ``That's percentage play I guess and yesterday was the same. I actually hit it closer yesterday but the ball went in the hole today. I was on the practice green at about 6.30am and said to myself `keep to the same routine, trust it, and it worked pretty well.''

Doyle said his victory in the Charles Tour Shirley Open on his home course last November had given him belief he was at home in top company and he had found a game plan and routines which worked for him. The wet and windy conditions posed no problems for him as he has played some of his best golf in wretched weather. ``I woke up this morning and thought: `bring on the rain'.'' Wellington left-hander Gareth Paddison also advanced up the leaderboard to be tied for seventh on three-under parm four behind Hall. He backed an opening 70 with a one-under 71 today.

``I'm not missing too many putts which is always quite handy. I played solid all day and if anything I was slightly disappointed to come in at one-under. I felt like I played a little better, but had a couple of bogeys on the back nine that couldn't be helped which was a shame. ``Conditions were not easy and it's always good to be there for the weekend - I'm not far off the lead and it's good to chase the leaders.'' Live scoring is on

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