Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming on the putting green at The Hills.
What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday at The Hills was, well, a little flat.
It was Friday, and it was bitterly cold, so the atmosphere in
the second round of the New Zealand Open was muted and the
Today is very different.
A chilly start has made way for a glorious . . . sure, that
may be stretching it a little. But the sun is out, and it is
really rather lovely when the breeze takes a break.
Thousands of fans are flooding into Sir Michael's back yard
and there is a genuinely positive vibe about the place.
New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox must have picked up on that
because he started his third round with a bang.
Finding the trees on the left of the first fairway, Fox
played an extraordinary shot to within a foot or two of the
hole, and made the eagle putt.
Overnight co-leader Richard Lee started with a birdie but
then gave the shot straight back with a bogey on the second
The big mover has been Australian professional Aaron
Townsend, who is 5-under through 10 holes today, and is now
two shots off the lead.
There was a real sense of deflation at the course this
morning when news emerged of a withdrawal.
American star Rocco Mediate, who had missed the Open cut but
was supposed to be playing with pro-am partner Mark
Richardson, pulled out, reportedly due to injury.
It will be interesting to see if he scrubs up all right
tomorrow to play with Prime Minister John Key and the great
Sir Bob Charles.