Fraser holds halfway lead in Australia

Marcus Fraser holds a two-stroke lead at the Australian PGA Championship following a second-round 65 but a host of big names, including Bubba Watson, Robert Allenby and Adam Scott, remain in contention at Coolum.

Marcus Fraser holds a two-stroke lead at the Australian PGA Championship following a second-round 65 but a host of big names, including Bubba Watson, Robert Allenby and Adam Scott, remain in contention at Coolum.

With seven birdies in a fine effort, Fraser capitalised on favourable conditions to move to 11 under par and two ahead of American Watson, who led the field by two shots at the turn before stumbling on the back nine to eventually settle for a four-under 68.

Three strokes adrift of Fraser is Kim Kyung-tae after the South Korean posted a 67, while compatriot and 2009 USPGA champion YE Yang (68), shares fourth on seven under par alongside three-time PGA winner Allenby (68), Scott (67) and John Senden.

Senden shot the lowest round of the day, recovering from his opening 73 with a superb 64. The Australian appeared set to break the course record of 62, set by Han Min-kyu two years ago when Coolum was a par-71 layout, but just fell short.

After his early heroics on day one, Jason Day produced a steadier round, grabbing three birdies in a 69 to move to six under alongside Stuart Appleby (68), Leigh McKechnie (70), Kieran Pratt (70), Anthony Summers (68), Kurt Barnes (69), Josh Geary (70), Aaron Townsend (71) and Chan Shih-chang (69).

Appleby birdied his first five holes of the day but a double bogey at the 16th and a bogey at the 18th threatened to derail his momentum before he steadied the ship coming home on the front nine with two further birdies.

Joint overnight leader Steven Bowditch, who led by three strokes midway through the morning, gave back four shots on the front nine as he slumped to a 73 and five under, level with Aaron Baddeley (72), Doug Holloway (69), Marc Leishman (69) and Choi Joon-woo (73).

Like Bowditch before him, Choi improved his overnight score to nine under with three birdies through his first seven holes but a triple-bogey seven at the last proved costly.

Peter Fowler and Australian Open champion Greg Chalmers both shot 69 to be among those tied for 22nd at four under, and Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Norman and Nick O’Hern also signed for that score to be equal 28th at minus three with Alistair Presnell (68) and Aron Price (72).

Open champion Darren Clarke (73) will start his third round nine off the pace and defending champion Peter Senior (73) from 10 back while Andre Stolz (77) and Mathew Goggin (73) just made the cut at even par.

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