ROOKIE professional Nathan Holman will live the dream Saturday when he plays alongside his idol Adam Scott in the second round of the 2013 Talisker Masters.
The 22 year old said in his media conference at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Friday after finishing clubhouse leader on 9-under that he would like nothing more.
Holman had shot a 6-under 65 and Scott later came to the party by joining the local golfer in the lead.
The pair will now tee off together Saturday in the final group at 1.55pm.
“It would be awesome to play with the Masters champion and just try and go head to head with him,” a smiling Holman had said earlier. Holman only turned Professional last month.
“Probably there will be nerves but I am ready to accept the challenge.”
Playing only his fifth Professional event of his career, Holman has finished only once outside the top 20 on the PGA Tour of Australasia so far this year.
In February Holman achieved his best result of the year to date, second place as an amateur at the Victorian Open, which the Melburnian still considers a missed opportunity.
“It hurt for a while. I mean I was so close and sort of controlled the tournament for the last day and just slipped at the very end,” he said. “It hurt but I looked back and took positives out of it.”
But a confident Holman says he feels he’s more than ready to compete on the biggest stage, and will relish the opportunity to succeed at the Professional level.
“At the early part of this year I planned to turn Pro for these events and I worked hard enough to make it happen,” he said. “I have probably played better on tougher golf courses, more demanding golf courses and I think I have been able to rise to Professional golf which has been nice.”
With a second round of 5-under 66 Adam Scott started his round five back from Holman but was quick to make up ground with three birdies through his first three holes.
But Scott struggled to keep the momentum going through the front nine, and later admitted he was at times left feeling frustrated.
“I had to just stay patient and realise that pars weren’t going to hurt me and I was going to get to some wedges and a short par five that was downwind today that should create an opportunity for birdies,” Scott said.
“So I just kind of stayed patient and tried not to get too frustrated. It feels like I just kind of plodded along and it wasn’t an exciting five under at all. It was just really steady stuff which is pleasing but, I feel like there is that round in me somewhere here soon where I can go low.”
Overnight leader Nick Cullen and playing partner Matt Griffin finished neck and neck on 8-under in a share of third place.
The duo, who are good mates, will again play together on Saturday, which both believe will only positively affect their chances of claiming their first major PGA Tour of Australasia title.
“Nick and I have played a lot of golf together the last few years after I won in Asia and we usually play well when we play together. I guess, when you are out there you pull each other along,” said Griffin, with Cullen thinking along similar lines.
“I love playing with Griffo, we obviously play well together so if it works out that way I would love to have a weekend round with him,” added Cullen.
American drawcard Matt Kuchar finished in outright fifth position at 5-under par.
Three players are tied for sixth position at 4-under par including South Australian Jason Norris, West Australia’s Brody Ninyette and Zimbabwean Brendon De Jong.
With the cut set at 3-over par, 65 players made it through to the weekend rounds including Shepparton’s Jarrod Lyle who finished at 1-over par.
Lyle was over the moon with achieving his goal of making the weekend’s play and, despite feeling fatigued, he’s committed to seeing the tournament through until the last putt drops on Sunday.
“Last night I knew I had played 18 holes, the legs were a bit heavy. They were a little bit heavy again today, but if I have to crawl those last 18 holes, mate, I am crawling them,” Lyle said “Nothing is going to stop me from finishing.”
The third round will get underway from 7.55am Saturday with live coverage on Channel 7 beginning at 12.30pm.
Australian Masters Leaderboard