Jarrod Lyle equaled the course record with a nine-under 63 yesterday to take a share of the second-round lead with fellow Australian Mathew Goggin at the Australian PGA Championship.
Lyle and Goggin, who shot 68 yesterday, have nine-under totals of 135.
Paul Sheehan, a co-leader after the first round, was one shot back in third spot after a 70.
Six players, including last week’s Australian Masters winner Rod Pampling (67), were tied for fourth at seven-under. Australian Nathan Green, who had a hole-in-one on the par-three 11th, shot 68 and was in a group three strokes back of the leaders.
John Daly, who was making his first appearance since throwing his ball and putter into a pond off the 18th green in 2002, bogeyed his first three holes and is expected to miss the cut after shooting a 77 and a four-over total of 148.
Six groups will complete their second rounds this morning, but the cut was likely to be one-over 145.
Six years ago, Daly was disqualified for failing to sign for a 78 on his scorecard, but would have missed the cut anyway then. Daly also missed the cut last week at the Australian Masters at Melbourne. He is scheduled to play next week’s Australian Open at Royal Sydney.
Daly only decided a few weeks ago to play the tournament, but the move by organizers to secure him paid dividends — attendance for the first two days was up nearly 5,000 from last year, despite threatening weather yesterday and a late afternoon suspension because of a thunderstorm on Thursday.
Yesterday, he was subdued after taking a seven on 18 — putting two balls in the water when he knew he needed at least a birdie to make the cut.
The 27-year-old Lyle had nine birdies in his second round, but also had two in six holes to complete his first round early yesterday morning, giving him 11 birdies in 24 holes on the day.
Lyle, who spent nearly a year in hospital in 1999 with leukemia, was one of 78 golfers who had to complete their first rounds yesterday beacause of an early finish on Thursday from storms that hit the Hyatt Regency resort course.
Lyle lost his US PGA Tour card last year after qualifying via the Nationwide Tour the year before. This year, he returned to the Nationwide Tour and finished fourth on the money list after two wins, again elevating him to the big tour.
“I think what happened to me last year was possibly the best thing that could have happened to me,” Lyle said of losing his card. “Getting out there, playing bad, seeing what I have to do to succeed at that level and then coming back.”
■ NEDBANK CHALLENGE
AP, SUN CITY, South Africa
Henrik Stenson equaled the course record on Thursday at the Gary Player Country Club by shooting a nine-under 63 in the first round of the Nedbank Challenge.
The 12th-ranked Swede dropped a shot at the par-three seventh, but compensated with five birdies on the first nine, and three more and an eagle on the last nine. He equaled the 2002 mark set by Ernie Els, who did it in the final round en route to a victory.
Rory Sabbatini (68) was second after birdies on the first, sixth, 10th and 11th holes.
Lee Westwood (70) was the only other player to break par on a course where the kikuyu rough was especially tough around the fringes of the greens.
Sergio Garcia (72) picked up just two birdies to counter his two bogeys and only managed to make half of the greens. He was tied with defending champion Trevor Immelman, K.J. Choi, Karlsson, Luke Donald and South African Open champion James Kingston.