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Defending champion has 2nd-round lead at Australian PGA

November 30, 2018
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Australia's Cameron Smith reacts after hitting out of a bunker during the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Defending champion Cameron Smith held a one-stroke lead over Marc Leishman and fellow Australian Jake McLeod after the second round of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines on Friday.

Smith shot a 7-under 65 for a two-round total of 9-under 135. Leishman, Smith’s teammate last week at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne, had his second consecutive 68 while McLeod, a co-leader after the first round, shot 70.

American Harold Varner III, who won the tournament in 2016 and has finished second in a playoff and sixth in three Australian PGAs at Royal Pines, shot his second straight 69 and was three strokes behind.

“I think I’m a lot better player right now than I was a couple years ago,” Varner said. ”(The 2016 win) gives me confidence, but it’s in the past. It has nothing to do what’s going to happen this week.”

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