A hot putter has vaulted Sydney’s Darren Beck into contention at the halfway mark of the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie Golf Club.
Western Australian Jarryd Felton, who is looking to claim an ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia win in his home state, holds a three-shot lead from Beck at nine-under.
Picton’s Justin Warren is another shot back at eight-under, while overnight leader, Jordan Zunic is in a tie for fourth alongside another New South Welshman, Robert Hogan.
Beck’s hot streak started from the first with a birdie before he repeated the feats on the next two holes.
“I started birdie, birdie, birdie which was nice,” Beck said.
His early round form went to another level with an eagle on the 11th, which lifted his name – and his confidence – to the top of the #WAPGA leaderboard midway through the morning.
“It’s always a great way to start. Then I had an eagle on 11. It got me to five under and I just carried it on from there; and made some good solid pars.
“Overall I just played pretty solid,” Beck said.
Beck conceded he had been struggling with his woods and irons this week but was thankful for the red-hot putter in his bag.
“I struggled feeling comfortable over the ball and my irons and especially my woods the last two days,” he said.
“I was just getting around the best I could, but I holed some 30-footers and 40-footers.
“Without those, I wouldn’t be where I am, so it’s helped me out.”
After facing blistering heat in the opening round at Kalgoorlie Golf Course, Beck was relieved the elements had calmed for the morning groups, with decreased winds on course.
“Conditions were good today. We were lucky, we had a one-club breeze, so it was very different to yesterday,” he added.
Picton’s Justin Warren has also rocketed up the leaderboard and sits just one shot behind Beck.
Two consistent rounds of 68 took the 24-year-old rookie to 8-under par after two rounds.
“It was pretty solid, very similar to yesterday,” Warren said.
“I drove the ball well, hit a lot of fairways and gave myself a good amount of opportunities for birdie.
“My putter’s not quite there, but I managed to roll a few in and keep the bogeys off the card, so I’m looking forward to the next couple of days.”
The level of competition has ignited Warren’s passion for the game, and he is keen to take advantage of opportunities.
“I’m loving being out here. I haven’t been pro for very long, but since turning I’ve found a new passion for the game and being out here competing with these guys,” he said.
“Playing for money is so different to amateur golf, but I love it. It’s great to be up near the lead.”
Overnight leader Jordan Zunic held steady to record a round of even-par in the morning field to remain 7-under for the event.
Peter Lonard’s round of 4-under 68 took the Australian golfing legend to a 6-under two-round total to sit tied for fifth place.