Appleby shoots 66 at wind-delayed Australian Open

Updated: 04 December 2009 15:22 IST

Stuart Appleby shot a second consecutive 6-under-par 66 to take a commanding lead at the wind-suspended Australian Open on Friday.

Appleby shoots 66 at wind-delayed Australian Open

Sydney:

Stuart Appleby shot a second consecutive 6-under-par 66 to take a commanding lead at the wind-suspended Australian Open on Friday.

Appleby had played just two holes before a near six-hour suspension due to gusting winds on the oceanside links-style New South Wales Golf Course.

By the time Appleby returned and finished his round, overnight co-leader Scott Hend had dropped two shots after three holes and second place was taken over by Australian Peter Wilson, who was at 5-under, seven behind Appleby.

Some golfers were not expected to start their second rounds until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, with the round to be completed Saturday morning before the 36-hole cut was made. Among the late starters was John Daly, who opened with a 72 on Thursday.

Appleby, who had a two-round total of 12-under 132, had five birdies, a bogey and an eagle on the par-5 18th, which was his ninth hole Friday.

Play was stopped on Friday morning after balls were blown off greens by the wind, before most groups had teed off.

"It's nothing to do with the golf course," tournament director Trevor Herden said. "No matter where you were today you wouldn't be able to play with those wind gusts."

It was the third time in eight years that the country's most prestigious tournament had been interrupted because putting became impossible.

Australian Brett Rumford made a quintuple-bogey eight at the par-3 second after his tee shot settled near the flag then was pushed off the green.

Tour veteran Peter O'Malley, in contention after an opening round of 69, watched while his ball roll from tap-in range to 10 feet away on the 13th immediately before play was suspended.

"As far as putting goes it was a lottery," said O'Malley. "You can't really stand up on the greens and putt. You don't know if you can ground the putter ... because you don't know whether it's going to roll again."

Greg Chalmers, runner-up to Tiger Woods at the Australian Masters in Melbourne last month, agreed.

"When you've got balls moving on greens ... that's hard to take when it costs you money," he said. "There are a lot of guys whose tournament has been kicked out the door."

Topics : Golf Stuart Appleby
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