You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dodt beats demons, takes Aust PGA lead

NZN 6 days ago Scott Bailey

For a self-confessed perfectionist, Andrew Dodt held an incredibly steely nerve to reclaim the lead on Friday at the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines.

But he's all too aware the challenges are coming - most notably, world No.7 Adam Scott.

The 30-year-old Queenslander finished at 12-under-par after the second round, two shots clear of Victorian Ashley Hall, while New Zealander Ryan Fox is tied third with Scott at eight under.

Dodt admitted to needing some rum and coke to settle the nerves after taking the clubhouse lead on Thursday, and he was ultimately joined at the top of the leaderboard by Hall and American Harold Varner III by Friday morning's completion of the storm-hit first round.

However he responded in style, with no hint of a player who earlier this year sought out a sports psychologist.

Six birdies and just one bogey on the 18th made for the lowest scoring round of the day - a 67.

"The back nine were as good as it gets," he said.

"I'm really happy with where I'm at mentally - I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing.

"One shot at a time; one hole at a time."

However, he is all too aware the tournament is only at the halfway mark.

The last time he led after 36 holes was in May at Mauritius.

He crashed out to hit nine-over-par on the final two days to finish fifth.

"The job is only half done so I've got to keep in that mindset for the weekend," he said.

While Dodt thrived under the pressure, his two original challengers made crucial errors in the Gold Coast heat.

Hall reached 11 under before he triple-bogeyed the par-4 fourth when he hit into a hazard off the tee, then went into the bunker before three-putting.

And, Varner struck consecutive double bogeys, first on the par-5 15th and then on the par-3 16th to drop back to be fifth.

"I was just very pissed off because I didn't rebound," he said.

"I just need to get better and, if I do that, I know I'm going to have a chance."

However, it will be Scott they'll all be watching.

The 36-year-old on Friday shot four under in difficult conditions, perhaps turning the corner after a disappointing outing at the World Cup of Golf and the Australian Open.

"It was a good day to do it because it wasn't that easy," Scott said.

"My striking was crisp at the ball. It was strong.

"I started driving the ball properly and it carried onto the rest of my game as well."

Nathan Holman's tournament defence is over after finishing at eight over overall and missing the cut.

It was the same fate for Olympian Marcus Fraser, up-and-comer Curtis Luck and veteran Craig Parry, who finished at four, three and six over respectively.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon