Day two of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship saw the multi-national field jockeying for position. Rob Smith watched the action…
Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship Day Two
With overnight leader Shae Wools-Cobb among the afternoon starters, those teeing off in the morning had one eye on making up ground on the Australian with the other on making sure that they actually made the cut.
China’s Yuxin Lin had put together a solid 2-under 69 on the opening day, and he began his second round from the 10th with a bogey but finished with an eagle courtesy of an 82-yard chip-in to post an excellent 67 and move to 6-under. In the press conference afterwards, the assured and calm young man said, “I’m hitting it pretty well and putting well and chipping it also pretty well. I’m pretty confident.” When asked whether he would allow himself to get excited if still in contention going into the final round, he said, “Probably not very excited, I don’t think so.” He was smiling!
One of the many impressive features of the championship has been the support it has received from the healthy number of spectators attending. Beautiful Wellington may be the nation’s capital city, but it is by no means the most densely populated and the local golfing fans have been out in force and warm in their welcome.
It is also not just the crowds that have been swarming; these bees were showing great interest in a bush near the 15th tee as I walked the course this morning.
The members here at the lovely Royal Wellington Golf Club have also been exceptional in their welcome with many acting as caddies and as volunteer workers out on the course.
In the afternoon, all eyes were on 21 year-old Shae Wools-Cobb as he looked to consolidate his lead. A bogey at five was immediately followed by a confidence-restoring birdie, but one or two missed greens on the back nine resulted in four more bogies and a round of 74. This put him one behind Lin, but as the afternoon drew to a close, fellow-Australian Min Woo Lee produced a scintillating birdie-birdie-eagle finish to leapfrog the pair and close on 7-under. He won last year’s US Junior Open and is the brother of leading lady professional, Minjee Lee.
The radically remodelled Heretaunga Course has only been open in its present guise for about three years, and it is both very attractive and very challenging. It is full of variety, very narrow in places, and everyone here this week has been generous in their praise.
With the cut falling at 6-over, there are 62 golfers here for the weekend and the forecast is good. With the incentive of a place in both next year’s Masters and Open Championship, the competition is sure to increase over the final two rounds.