Guyatt maintains lead at Australian Masters

Matthew Guyatt has maintained his lead to be at 10-under-par after rounds of 65-69 at the Australian Masters in Melbourne.

Guyatt is two strokes ahead of New Zealander, Michael Hendry, who is at 8-under after rounds of 67-69.

Matthew Guyatt Matthew Guyatt (Credit: Anthony Powter)

One of the pre-tournament favourites, Adam Scott, finds himself in outright third position following a second round of 2-under-70, completed in difficult afternoon conditions and is at 7-under after opening with a 67.

Defending champion Ian Poulter is in a tie for fourth at 5-under with Craig Hancock, a stroke ahead of David Bransdon and Matthew Miller.

37-year-old world No.1474 Guyatt played Queensland Pennants with Scott in their formative years, yet was hinting during his press conference that it would be probably easier to by paired with Hendry than Scott.

“I don’t know whether I’d relish and thrive under it actually, I just don’t know,” Guyatt said, before learning who his third-round partner would be.

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Adam Scott nails his drive into the 6th at Kingston Heath during the second round of the Australian Masters (Photo: Anthony Powter)

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“I actually said to my caddie – it was looking like Mike Hendry might be the guy I get paired with – I said that wouldn’t be bad because I’ve travelled a little bit on OneAsia this year with Mike and get along well with him.”

Guyatt was off the tour for five years, but returned two years ago playing his way to the Japan Tour with the financial backing of a 78-year-old friend he has not named.

“He just about fell over,” Guyatt said when his benefactor found out that he was leading.

“I was just hoping he hadn’t had a heart attack. He hadn’t – he was very excited. He’s had the belief since he first played with me.”

Guyatt won the 2011 NSW PGA Championship at Wollongong Golf Club and at the time hoped it would be the kickstart he needed to play the tour professionally after spending many years teaching the game at Indooroopilly Golf Club near Brisbane.

A mix year followed on Tour and Guyatt is due to return to play the final stage in Japan to retain playing privileges.

Guyatt said his first two rounds at Kingston Heath and his recent form in Japan have given him confidence for the weekend.

“That’s the battle, I think, that players in my position face,” Guyatt said.

“The belief that you’ve got enough game, the belief that you’re good enough. I think I’m starting to get there.”

Tournament drawcard, Graeme McDowell, had a shocker of a day carding a 5-over 77, after opening with a 71 to land on the 4-over cut mark to make the weekend.

Jake Higginbottom, Oliver Goss and Cameron Smith are at 1-under to be leading amateurs.