“Wet track Specialist’ Andrew Richards has carded a second-round 69 to grab the outright lead at the halfway point of the Avondale Amateur Medal.
The Pennant Hills member is at five-under-par, with the trio of Jye Pickin, Thomas Heaton and Christopher Somerville two back at minus three. Tom Addy is alone in fifth place at minus one, with Ali Rachid, Jayden Ford and Jackson Rogan at even par.
Freshly minted Australian Master of the Amateurs Champion Harrison Crowe and Jackson Rogan round out the top ten at one over par.
Richards, the reigning NSW Amateur Champion, struggled early in conditions best described as testing, dropping three shots in his opening five holes.
“Conditions were pretty tough this morning Steady rain, everything was wet, a lot of casual water about. It was pretty dark and grim really,” Richards said.
“I didn’t get out of the gates the way I wanted today, unlike yesterday when I was on fire, but I was pretty happy to pick up a couple (of birdies) before the turn.
Thankfully, as he made the turn, the form that took him to the opening-round lead returned and with the rain easing, Richards made his move.
A birdie on the first (his 10th) was followed by five straight pars before finding his stride on the home stretch with a birdie on the par-five 7th. He hit the finish line full of running with a spectacular eagle on the par-five 9th
“I knew I had two par-fives to finish,” he explained. “Birdie on seven and eagle on nine was a great way to finish.”
With more inclement weather predicted for the next couple of days, Richards wasn’t overthinking his chances, despite the observations of his brother, Michael, who was happy to remind his brother of his standout performance in the final of last year’s NSW Amateur.
“Yeah, you can probably call me a heavy tracker. My brother, Michael, reminded me I’ve got some form in the wet too,” Richards added.
“I don’t really mind being in front in conditions like this either.”
In the Women’s Avondale Amateur Bowl, Malaysian Jenneath Wong has carded rounds of 71 & 70 to establish a three-shot lead over her nearest rival, overnight co-leader Caitlin Peirce and Western Australian Kirsten Rudgeley, who are at even par.
The freshly crowned Women’s Australian Master of the Amateurs Champion, Wong had a mixed round with five birdies and three bogeys.