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Australian holds lead at New Zealand Open

Mar 04, 2023

Australian Chris Wood (main image) has maintained his position atop the leaderboard amid a barrage of low scores in the second round of the New Zealand Open in Arrowtown.

Coming in hot following his course record 10-under 61 on the Remarkables Course on Thursday, Wood moved out to 15-under late into his second round on the Coronet Course at the Millbrook Resort.

A bogey at the par-3 sixth and double bogey after finding the penalty area left of the par-4 eighth green dropped Wood back to 12-under by day's end, his round of two-under 69 enough for a one-stroke buffer from fellow Australian Shae Wools-Cobb.

A third Queenslander, Scott Hend, made a late charge into third at 10-under with a brilliant seven-under 64, playing partner John Lyras going two better in his round of nine-under 62 to be tied for fourth at nine-under with New Zealand amateur Kazuma Kobori (67), Korean Jaewoong Eom (66) and Japan's Terumichi Kakazu (66).

Wood has rebounded following an indifferent start to his season on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

He had twin victories on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series in January and earned a share of 11th at TPS Sydney at Bonnie Doon two weeks ago.

Given his penchant for birdies, Wood has turned his attention to reducing the bogeys he throws into a round, a tactic he intends to carry into Saturday's third round.

"Bit disappointing to drop three shots in the last four holes but not complaining too much," Wood said post-round.

"If I can keep some bogeys off the scorecard I'm probably going to have three or four birdies a round minimum.

"I hit a lot of greens yesterday and today as well so if I can hit a lot of greens, give myself opportunities I should be fine."

Wood and Wools-Cobb have been paired together a number of times already this season, providing for a comfortable final pairing on Saturday on the Coronet Course.

Seventy-three players finished inside the cut-line of four-under.

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