Guyatt Continues to Surprise in Australian Masters

Matthew Guyatt followed up his opening 7-under 65 with a 69 Friday to maintain a two-stroke lead in the Australian Masters. The PGA Tour of Australasia event is being played at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne.

The 37-year-old Guyatt, an Aussie who regularly plays on the Japanese Challenge Tour and is ranked outside the top-500 players in the world, posted six birdies a bogey and a double-bogey on the par-5 12th hole to reach 10-under 134, two shots clear of Australia's Michael Hendry (69) and three ahead of Adam Scott (70).

Guyatt said he's eager to see how he holds up over the weekend in the final two rounds. "That's the battle, I think, that players in my position face," he said. "The belief that you've got enough game, the belief that you're good enough. I think I'm starting to get there.

"I don't know how it's going to be tomorrow when I stand on the tee, I know I'm going to be nervous, there's no doubt about that, I'm not going to say I'm not because I will be," he added.

"But it's about hopefully having the routine and all the work we've done on my routine and having that hold me in good stead so that I can pull the trigger and really be able to deal with whatever outcome comes."

Lurking five shots back of Guyatt are Craig Hancock (71) and defending champion Ian Poulter, who shot a 67 Thursday but slipped down with an even-par 72 in the second round. "I've left quite a few shots out on the golf course and I'm not very happy," the Englishman said.

Poulter's playing partner, 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell had an even worse day. The 33-year-old Northern Irishman skied to a 5-over 77 that listed an eagle on the par-5 first hole, a birdie on the next and then an uncharacteristic six bogeys and a double. He fell all the way down the leaderboard into a tie for 52nd.

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