Pilkadaris goes one clear #NZOpen99

Fri 02 Mar 2018

Pilkadaris goes one clear #NZOpen99


Queenstown, New Zealand, March 2: Australia’s Terry Pilkadaris broke clear of the tight leaderboard by carding a second round eight-under-par 64 to take a one-shot lead over the chasing pack at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open on Friday.

The three-time Asian Tour winner backed up his opening 64 at Millbrook Resort with another similar effort at the Hills to enjoy the outright lead with his two-day total of 15-under-par 128.

Australians continued to dominate the leaderboard with Daniel Nisbet and Callan O’Reilly sharing second place on 129 total.

O’Reilly, who finished tied-15th at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open last year, inked his name into the record books when he posted a sensational 61 to set the course record at The Hills.

Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Travis Smyth secured fourth place with a 67 while overnight co-leader Jarin Todd of the United States slipped to a share of eighth place following a 70.

Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert will head into the weekend rounds five shots back of Pikadaris after he signed for a 67 to take a share of 16th place that also included Scotland’s Simon Yates and Paul Peterson of the United States.

The weekend cut was set at seven-under-par which is also the lowest cut on the Asian Tour.


 Did you know?

  • Terry Pilkadaris first ventured to Asia in 2002 and finished second in Qualifying School.
  • He broke through on the Asian Tour when he won back-to-back titles at the Crowne Plaza Open and Sanya Open in China in 2004.
  • Pilkadaris added his third Asian Tour title when he won the 2005 Brunei Open and has made two appearances at the Open Championship in 2007 and 2009.
  • Daniel Nisbet first came to Queenstown as a caddy in 2010. He turned professional in 2012 and went on to win his first professional victory in Hong Kong in 2016.
  • Callan O’Reilly’s 61 is the lowest score he has ever shot. He just started working with new coach, Gary Barter, who has also worked with leading Australians like Matt Jones.
  • He claims he has to play well this week in order to pay for an upcoming fishing trip with his father-in-law.
  • Travis Smyth is a recent Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate. He finished tied third to earn his Tour card for 2018.
  • Pavit Tangkamolprasert last victory on the Asian Tour dates back to 2016 when he defeated India’s Anirban Lahiri in a play-off to win the Venetian Macao Open.
  • His two year’s winner’s exemption on the Asian Tour will end this year. He finished in 48th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season.
  • Pavit is also a five-time winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT)
  • Simon Yates represented Scotland as a downhill skier during his youth. He came to Asia on a holiday and decided to stay and play on in the region in 1995.
  • He has been living in Thailand for the last 23 years.
  • The Scotsman has won twice on the Asian Tour, the 1998 Sabah Masters in Malaysia and 2004 SK Telecom Open in Korea.

 Players’ Quotes:

 Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) Second round Eight-under-par 64, Total 128 (-15)

It was a different condition today as compared to yesterday. It was quite cold with a bit of rain in the morning with no breeze yesterday. It warmed up a bit and I finished with five birdies which was nice. I played at the Hills today and it was a different set-up. The greens were more undulating and it was in the afternoon so the ball was flying its normal distance.  All in all it was manageable and there was nothing scary. I’ve been playing pretty consistent and I was not in too much trouble the last two days. I have to go low to win this tournament but it all depends on the weather this weekend. If the weather was like the last two days, you got to be shooting five, six-under to stay in the mix. But if it changes and it gets windy, cold and rainy, then the scores will come down significantly. Winning again does play on my mind as I have a couple of runner-up finishes since my last victory. To win a golf tournament you got to have a little bit of luck and sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t.  There are just too many factors. 

Callan O’Reilly (Aus) Second round 11-under-par 61, Total 129 (-14)

I was playing with my good mate and he was not playing great on the front nine and I was hoping he could make a few birdies so I sort of just rode what I thought he would do, and did it myself. I played good golf, gave myself opportunities and made them. It is all you can do. I played solid on the front nine and had three under. To be honest I thought at 10-under I thought I would have the course record but I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was surprised my three-wood went so far. I knew I had to put a good swing on it and make birdies. More of the same going forward. I know I am playing good. It is about keeping my mind in the right centre and enjoying the weekend. I did a little bit of work on Tuesday trying to fix the driver a little bit but it was outstanding today. Hopefully I can keep it all going now.

Daniel Nisbet (Aus) Five-under-par 66, Total 129 (-14)

Today was solid again. I had a bogey early which kind of halted the momentum a little bit, but I still struck the ball really well. I would like to hole a few more putts tomorrow though. It’s magnificent, the course is in great condition, the greens are all nice. They are two very different courses, with elevation changes and things like that. It’s probably a little bit simpler to play this course actually.  It was a couple of misreads and my pace was a little bit off. We started this morning with a little bit of dew on the grass and then it got a bit faster. Keeping up with that adjustment was tricky at times. I think the lead might change. The course is going to be pretty easy if the weather stays like this. I’m not sure what the score will be after today, but it would be good to be in contention going into the weekend. It’s good to be in an area like this, and to be playing good golf is a bit of a bonus. The score is going to be low, so hopefully I can post another good number tomorrow and stay in the hunt. I hit a good one into the fourth and fifth, tap in birdies are always nice.  Just stay on the fairways. There are a couple of fairway bunkers and the rough is pretty long too. You’ve just got to stay on the fairways so you can attack the pins. The birdies are out there if you are in the right position.

Travis Smyth (Aus) Second round Five-under-par 67, Total 130 (-13)

I teed off on the back nine and got away with a birdie and got things rolling again. I ended up having like five birdies in a row on my first nine. I felt very comfortable out there and had another awesome round, like I did yesterday. One of my best mates from back home on the south coast of Wollongong, paid the money and he’s out here with me having a ball. It’s awesome to see that we are running top-five as a pair. I really just want to make this experience awesome for him because I play a lot of pro events in my time, but there’s not too many events where a friend of mine can be a part of it. Whatever position, I’m playing well and I know if I play well over the weekend I can take this thing out. I’m just going to try and do what I’ve been doing the last two days and have fun out there. It’s my first time in Queenstown and I’m loving it. I’m staying with a friend of mine near town and it’s awesome after golf just going into town and looking around and getting coffees and different places, it’s a neat place. Courses like The Hills and Millbrook are pretty generous off the tee so it’s kind of target golf, and there’s pretty soft conditions as well. The best player is going to go to the top of the leaderboard this week, there’s really no trick to either course. I’ve been struggling a little bit the last couple of weeks, so it’s awesome to be one off the lead going into the weekend at such a big event. It’s all coming together at the right time.

 Jarin Todd (Usa), Second round Two-under-par 70, Total 132 (-11)

Playing at The Hills was good. I just didn’t play as well as I would have liked as I got a couple of penalty strokes there. I played the par-threes well yesterday and I managed to do well on those par-three here again. I’ll go back to the range to practise but sometimes you hit bad shots and that’s how it goes. I just got to stick to my game plan and not worry too much about how it goes. I’m still in a good spot.

Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha), Second round, Four-under-par 71 Total 133 (-10)

I couldn’t be happier as I beginning to hit the ball really well. I haven’t been driving the ball well the last three months but I feel that has changed this week. The greens are soft and they are in very good conditions. They are ideal for attacking the pins. My irons are really good too and they have presented me with many birdie opportunities. I did pretty well here at Millbrook today and I’m pleased the weekend rounds are going to stay here. I just want to play my best and get the ball onto the fairways as much as I can. After all, my irons are good and I want to take advantage of that. My pro-am partner (Liza Sutrisno) is a good player. I think the tees are tougher for ladies as there’s not much difference from the pros. But she’s doing very well.

Simon Yates (Sco), Second round Three-under-par 68, Total 133 (-10)

Yesterday I played great for the first 12 holes to be eight-under but I made a couple of three-putts because I was so far away. Today I started slow, I was cold and I was rushing.

But on the back nine I played really good. I didn’t make as many putts but I did have a couple of tap-ins for birdies. Overall I am happy to be here for the weekend and not that far off the lead at the moment. If you are hitting fairways and hitting it good and straight off the tee it makes it so much easier. I just had no feeling at the start of the round but by the end of the round I was ok. The main thing is to hit your driver good here. I have lived in Thailand for 24 years, more than half my life. I love the heat. I am not a true Scotsman anymore.

This is such a beautiful place and such a great atmosphere. It only took us 4hr 5mins, so it is a great format when the amateurs are playing quick. Our guys were just brilliant. There are a lot of good Asians now and a lot coming through. Asian golf is in good shape. We just need the Asian Tour to get a few more tournaments in the main tour, and it will just get better and better.

Paul Peterson (Usa) Second round Four-under-par 68, Total 133 (-10)

Today it was all about staying patient. I started out with 12 straight pars and just wasn’t able to convert my chances on the front-nine. The greens are a little subtle and not breaking as much as I saw. I was happy I was able to make some adjustments on the back-nine and saw some putts go in. I would have been in for a rough day if I had made 18 straight pars. I’m pleased as 68 is never a bad day in the office. My eyes seem to match my speed a little better over at Millbrook. I was playing with too much breaks visually and I’ll try to get back on those greens as the speed is a little different there and I’ll try to dial that back in for tomorrow. I hit 18 greens and I putted 18 times yesterday. I missed one green today and when you’re putting that much, you’re not going to make more. You do your best and I feel it’s just a matter of making good strokes and getting around these courses which are new to me. I’m just trying to stay patient and keep doing what I’ve been doing. The laws of averages will tell me if I keep hitting as many greens as I’ve right now, I should be in for a good weekend. Queenstown is unbelievable. It’s beautiful and you got keep you head up and look around even when you are frustrated. You cannot let your golf get in the way of such an unbelievable place.