Fraser tops Australian Open leaderboard

Marcus Fraser fired respective rounds of 69 at the Australian Open to be at 6-under for a one stroke lead over Brendan Jones and overnight leader John Senden.

Nick Cullen, winner this year on the OneAsia Tour, is in outright 4th position at 4-under, after rounds of 70-70.

Marcus Fraser Marcus Fraser (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Fraser, 34, has experienced a solid year both in Asia and in Europe. He is currently second on the Asian Tour order of merit and finished 25th in the Race to Dubai.

Fraser has put aside the disappointment of not gaining his PGA Tour card after an unsuccessful attempt last week in the US.

“It has been good year in Europe,” said Fraser.

“I finished 25th in the Race to Dubai and made five or six top-fives, which was definitely my best year. America last week just did not work out after getting the opportunity to go straight to final stage.”

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Adam Scott is all focus during at The Lakes during the second round of the Australian Open (Photo: Anthony Powter)

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“As much as I would have loved the chance to play over there [USA], I am still very happy in Europe. If I keep playing the way I have been playing this year, I might get the opportunity next year or the year after to go back over to the US and give it a go again.”

Fraser is the fourth highest ranked Australian player in the field this week in Sydney at World Number 58, having won twice on the European Tour since turning professional in 2002.

With six top-10 finishes in 2012 for Fraser, including runner-up at the BMW International Open in Germany and the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, Fraser’s results this season have been consistent and solid.

The last occasion Fraser won on home soil was at the 2003 Volvo Trucks Classic (Von Nida Tour) and the Corowa native would love nothing better than to collect his National title.

“As a kid, it is the one you watch, along with the Aussie Masters,” says Fraser

“I am always coming here and really wanting to contend. Sometime I feel that I’m putting too much pressure on myself. Hopefully I can take a little pressure off this week.”

Adam Scott fired rounds of 72-71 to be at 1-under and in a tie for 16th, five behind Fraser.

England’s Just Rose remains in contention after rounds of 68-73 to be at 3-under and in a tie for 5th position with Steven Jones who fired the day’s low round of 68. Also in 5th position is Matthew Goggin, Gareth Paddison and Richard Green.

Eight-time major winner Tom Watson closed the second round with two birdies for a 4-under 68 after opening with a 78 to finish at 2-over inside the 4-over cut mark.

Cameron Smith finished the best of the amateurs at 2-over-par with rounds of 72-74 to also make the weekend.