Fraser surges clear at Coolum

Marcus Fraser has grabbed a two-stroke lead at the Australian PGA Championship heading into the weekend.

Marcus Fraser has grabbed a two-stroke lead at the Australian PGA Championship heading into the weekend.

The Australian posted a bogey-free, second round 65 at the Hyatt Regency Resort course at Coolum on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Thursday to move two strokes clear of the field thanks to a sizzling run of seven birdies in 12 holes from the fifth.

Fraser looked to be in trouble at the 17th, but saved his par by holing a spectacular, 20-foot putt and finished the day leading the event at 11-under.

His nearest pursuer is big-hitting American Bubba Watson who has posted rounds of 67 and 68 to be sitting at 9-under.

Watson’s second round featured a mixture of five birdies and three bogies, with his three dropped shots all coming within the space of four holes on the back nine.

Korean Kyung-Tae Kim is a stroke further behind in third place while Australian John Senden fired a best-of-day 64 to move up into a share of 4th place with fellow Australians Adam Scott and Robert Allenby and Korean YE Yang

Senden, started like a steam train express, rushing to seven-under in his opening seven holes thanks to five birdies and a hole-in-one at the par-three second, but he cooled down coming home and finished with a run of seven straight pars to stand four off the pace at 7-under.

He said of his hot start: “I had played two good shots on the first and nearly made eagle and then knocked it on the second.

“There I hit a good shot and when it landed I knew it was good when it bounced and headed right for the stick, I thought it would be close but I didn’t know if it would go in (for an ace), but then the cheers came and I knew it had.

“That front nine has got some real opportunities and getting off to a good start was important,” added Senden.

“The whole golf course was there for the taking because the winds didn’t really get up at all and it made for good scoring out there.”

Fraser didn’t go as low but he was delighted with his second round 65.

“I felt like I played great over the last couple of days. I finally got the putter working the way it should be and it’s nice to see the ball drop, so hopefully that continues over the weekend,” Fraser told the media

“Hopefully a few butterflies and nerves creep in, because that is what I’ve always practiced for in trying to win golf tournaments.”