SCOTLAND’S Peter Whiteford took the outright overnight lead of the 2014 ISPS HANDA Perth International with the help of a “miracle” eagle late in his round.
The eagle saw Whiteford overtake Denmark’s young gun Thorbjorn Olesen to lead the championship by one shot.
Shooting a solid 6-under 66 for a two round total of 12-under, Whiteford said he was pleased with his effort.
“I was disappointed to not take a few chances today, so that eagle kind of made up for a couple of things today,” said Whiteford.
“I played great, I kind of felt like I got what I deserved. It’s not often you say that in golf. You’re always thinking you could’ve done better. But that eagle made me feel a lot better.”
The pressure is on for Whiteford who needs to finish outright second or win the ISPS HANDA Perth International to retain his European Tour card.
“It’s no holds barred, win or bust,” added Whiteford. “It’s not a matter of ‘I would like to win’. I need to, to try to keep my job.”
Starting the day tied for the lead, Thorbjorn reeled off four birdies before a bogey at the last saw him in the clubhouse at 3-under 69 for the day.
“It’s always tough to come back after a great round and shoot another good round,” said Olesen who started the day at 8-under the card.
“But I felt like I played solid out there. I gave myself a lot of chances for birdie, especially on the front nine.”
With a two round total of 11-under the card, Olesen will head into the weekend one of the favourites to take out the title.
“I have a lot of expectations on myself, I’ve been in this position a few times in my career so I know how it is,” he said.
Sitting outright third on 10-under the card is Korean Sihwan Kim while a further shot back and rounding out the top-5 are David Drysdale (SCO) and James Morrison (ENG).
Morrison fired the round of the day to set the Lake Karrinyup Golf and Country Club course record at 9-under 63.
“I drive it straight and I’ve got a good short game. So unlike the longer golf courses, this sort of course suits me. I just feel comfortable,” said Morrison.
“I’ve played so much here and the greens are always great, just such a pleasure to play. It is the best in the world, Australian golf, in my opinion.”
The second round cut was made at 1-under the card with the biggest name to fall victim being Geoff Ogilvy.
The third round will tee off at 8.10am with the leaders on course at 10am.
Live Coverage on the seven Network.
3rd & Final Rounds: Saturday and Sunday 7Mate, 1pm – 6pm (AEDT)
ISPS Handa Perth International LeaderboardPerth International Leaderboard