He was the last player into the field but for Australian Ben Eccles, he is making the most of his opportunity has he leads the New Zealand Open halfway through day two.
After an overnight score of 6-under, Eccles teed off this morning at The Hills and started the best way possible with an eagle on the opening par 5 before settling in with two birdies to be 4-under after three holes.
On the 8th he dropped a shot but then birdied the 9th to head for home on 10-under the card, two ahead of the field that includes Pavit Tangkamolprasert from Thailand and Australians Wade Ormsby and Lucas Herbert.
Kiwi Harry Bateman who finished 3-under the card today at The Hills sits at 7-under which places him well going into Saturday.
After yesterday’s round Eccles was excited for the weekend ahead.
“I said to my best mate who’s caddying for me that I just want to enjoy the week whether I get in or not and we got in yesterday morning so it’s a big bonus and to play like I did today was just awesome,” Eccles said.
“I feel like my game has turned a corner in the last three or four months. I’ve been working pretty hard on some stuff so I’m excited for what’s coming.
“I’ve played this event three times before and I made the cut twice. I just love the place, it’s just amazing.
“The golf course is playing a bit harder this year with the rough up. It’s nice to get around like that.”
After 17 holes today at The Hills, Tangkamolprasert has the best round of the day so far with a 7-under par 65 to sit at 8-under. Ormsby has picked up two shots today at The Hills and is also on 8-under with 6 holes to play.
Best of the Kiwis playing early this morning was Mike Hendry who has picked up 4 shots to be sitting at 5-under after 15 holes.