Australia’s Peter McWhinney, winless in 15 years on the Aust
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Australia’s Peter McWhinney, winless in 15 years on the Australasian PGA Tour, shot a 2-under-par 70 today to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Australian Open.
With Australian star Greg Norman and British Open champion John Daly moving into contention, McWhinney topped the crowded leader board with a 6-under 138 total on the tree-lined Kingston Heath course.
Australia’s Wayne Grady (71) and Rob Whitlock (72) were tied for second, while Daly (68) and Norman (69) were three back. Daly had eight birdies _ including six straight on Nos. 4-9 _ but closed with four straight bogeys.
``I was in total shock after six birdies in a row,″ Daly said. ``I can’t remember the last time that happened. I don’t think it ever has.
``Then I got buried in a bunker on 15 and I don’t know what happened. That finish wasn’t what I had in mind.″
Daly adapted quickly to Kingston Heath’s fast greens.
``I love fast greens,″ he said. ``I always putt well on them. The greens here are fine. That’s what makes the course special.″
Norman, seeking his fourth Australian Open title and first victory in Australia in 1990, said precision is the key at Kingston Heath.
``It is a heck of a golf course, one that means you have to be really focused,″ Norman said. ``I played great golf today and I enjoyed it. It is great to be in contention to win around a course that I really enjoy.″
McWhinney, who had four birdies and a double-bogey, said sessions with sports psychologist Noel Blundell turned his career around after he missed 12 straight cuts earlier this year in Japan.
``I was playing garbage,″ he said. ``I got too technical and didn’t trust my own swing. I was thinking too much and getting a lot of heartache. I was desperate, but Noel has got me back playing my own natural game.″
Australia’s Terry Gale (70) joined Norman and Daly at 141 and American John Morse (72) was in a large group at 142 that also included Australia’s Craig Parry (72) and New Zealand’s Grant Waite (73).
U.S. Ryder Cup player Brad Faxon, the tournament winner in 1993, was eight back after a 76. PGA champion Steve Elkington of Australia, the winner in 1992, also had a 146 total after a 75.