Australian golfer Ashley Hall plays a fairway shot during the second round of the Australian PGA at Royal Pines.
Australian golfer Ashley Hall plays a fairway shot during the second round of the Australian PGA at Royal Pines. DAN PELED

Early start no problem for clubhouse leader

GOLF: Ashley Hall is on target to achieve his dream of a European Tour card after surviving an unusually early wake-up call to be among the leaders at the halfway mark at the Australian PGA.

Hall, who with Cameron Smith lost in a three-way play-off to Jordan Spieth at the Australian Open last month, shot a three-under-par second round and midway through the second day had the clubhouse lead at 10-under at Royal Pines.

The tournament is the first event on the 2017 Race To Dubai and a win on the Gold Coast would guarantee Hall his card until the end of the 2018 season.

Hall was one of the early risers on day two after the first round was cut short by storms.

He finished his first round with a seven-under 65 after waking from his slumber, before steadying the ship in the wind in his second round.

"It was a new record - 3.17am isn't really a good time to wake up but everyone else did it. That's what we get for playing in Queensland,” Hall said.

"The second round was good. I got off to a good start. I actually kind of had it in my head if I can shoot something in the 60s again it would be a good result.”

Hall's only blemish in his second round came at the par-four fourth where he shot a triple bogey, but he overcame that to give himself a shot at getting his tour card, something that didn't seem possible last year.

"Last year I thought that was essentially the bottom and I had to do Q-School again here, which I hadn't had to do because I sort of pushed so hard in the US last year,” he said.

"Winning the Vic PGA early, I thought 'here we go, this is coming back again' and then kind of struggled a lot again through the middle of the year.

"I don't know, it just kind of happens sometimes - especially me, I kind of tend to do it when there's no other choice but to play good. So, that was essentially where it's at, I had to play good.”



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