Queensland’s Adam Blyth will enter the weekend rounds of the New South Wales Open armed with a two-shot lead and a boatload of confidence.
Rounds of 65 and 63 have him at 16-under-par as Blyth (pictured above) looks to ingrain the fine form he found in New Caledonia in September when he won the South Pacific Open. The 35-year-old is something of a late bloomer in the professional game but has discovered his best golf in recent weeks to have more than halved his previous year-end world ranking position to now be No.605. Aside from his South Pacific Open title, Blyth has high finishes at the Victorian PGA (T-3) and the Asian Development Tour’s PGM Penang Championship (T-5) to his credit.
At Stonecutters Ridge he has continued the upswing in fortunes, plucking 17 birdies from the first 36 holes against a lone bogey. And Blyth hopes to continue the subpar onslaught over the weekend.
“It’s really nice when you get the results,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a little while for it to kick in, but it is at the moment and you’ve just got to ride the wave.
“I putted very well, especially yesterday. Finishing with four birdies in the last four holes always boosts your round up. Even though yesterday was a shot or two harder with the breeze, I got away with a nice bogey-free start today. It was a very solid game and the putter was the thing out there today. I want to keep those confidence boosts for the next days and not get too excited about the birdies or too down about the bogeys.”
Blyth intends to switch caddies for the weekend rounds, as his girlfriend Nicole Kelsey makes way for Blyth’s usual bagman, his father Stephen. Yet the leader concedes having a different on-course companion cleared his head well for competitive play.
“It’s really nice when you get the results. Sometimes it takes a little while for it to kick in, but it is at the moment and you’ve just got to ride the wave." Adam Blyth
Nicole has been the secret weapon. It’s great having her around, she does all the food and nutrition and gets all of this ready for me,” Blyth said. “She says all the right things out there, keeps me calm. She doesn’t talk about what a normal caddie would talk about. We are having a good laugh. Dad will be here tonight to finish the weekend off. I am sure she will be giving him a bit of banter on how good she is.”
Blyth heads the ever-consistent Matthew Millar by two with Peter Wilson three strokes adrift and Rory Bourke and Jason Scrivener a shot further back. Thirteen players are in double-digits under par and within six of Blyth’s lead. In another day of favourable scoring conditions, the cut fell at five-under, granting a weekend off to anyone taking 140 swings or more.