Ryan Chisnall will take a three-shot lead into the weekend after shooting the best round of day two at the Autex Muriwai Open.
After being a shot behind after day one with a 4-under 68, Chisnall set the course alight early with birdies on the first two holes, two of eight birdies for the round.
Chisnall is being hunted by a pack of three with Josh Geary, James Hydes and Jordan Loof all on 6-under and all shot a 68 today.
Overnight leader Cameron Jones shot a 2-over 74 but is still in with a chance on 3-under.
Although it’s the first golf tournament Chisnall has played in a long while, he knows all too well what it’s like being in the mix at a Jennian Homes Charles Tour event.
“I’m really happy with today,” Chisnall said.
“The conditions were pretty brutal out there. Managing the gusts was the hardest thing and I made sure I was taking my time and not hitting when the wind was swirling. It was a solid round of golf.”
Chisnall will be calling on his previous experiences of being up the top of the leaderboard over the weekend.
He’s had numerous top-10 finishes on the tour and has a victory to his name at the Harewood Open in 2014.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played a golf tournament let alone been in this position so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and have as much fun as I can.
“That’s been the motto for the first couple of days, so we’ll see what happens, I’m looking forward to being in the mix.”
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Loof was the clubhouse leader for most of the day having teed off in the morning field.
He said the wind played havoc out there today and was happy to get in the clubhouse early.
“If you were to look in the dictionary for the definition of a grind that would be it,” Loof said.
“I’m not too sure how I came away with that score today, I just hung in there and took the most out of the opportunities that came my way and I scrambled like crazy.”
Loof believes the weather will be a big factor this weekend and is looking forward to the challenge.
“The weather doesn’t look too flash so it could be one of those events where people are just trying to hang on and making as few mistakes as possible. I think that’s key this week.
“The weather could very well dictate what happens this weekend.”
Round three gets underway tomorrow morning and spectators are welcome all weekend.
Leaders after round 2
135 Ryan Chisnall (PGA New Zealand) 68 67
138 Josh Geary (PGA New Zealand) 70 68, James Hydes (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 70 68, Jordan Loof (PGA New Zealand) 70 68
139 Dongwoo Kang (PGA New Zealand) 70 69, Michael Hendry (PGA New Zealand) 69 70, Matt McLean (Harewood) 69 70
140 Daniel Hillier (PGA New Zealand) 71 69, Gareth Paddison (PGA New Zealand) 69 71, Jaeseung Na (Pakuranga) 69 71