Dougherty, Ormsby Lead New Zealand Open

Friday, December 1st 2006, 6:02 am
By: News On 6

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ Australian Wade Ormsby shot a course-record 8-under-par 63 Friday to share the lead with Englishman Nick Dougherty at 7-under 135 after the second round of the New Zealand Open.

Ormsby, 26, had only 22 putts in a stellar round one day after a 1-over in wet and windy conditions Thursday. Dougherty shot a 66 to regain a lead he held briefly on the opening day and hold off a strong charge from local favorite and former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell.

Campbell (65) was alone in third, one stroke behind Ormsby and Dougherty and one ahead of first-round leader Scott Strange of Australia (70).

Ormsby sank a 20-foot putt on the 18th at the Gulf Harbour Country Club to complete his record round which he said showed he was turning a corner after recent career disappointments.

``I was quite frustrated after yesterday. I played pretty good but I just didn't hole my putts,'' Ormsby said. ``I did some work on my putting and they started flowing in. I think I am turning the corner. If you putt well you can do anything.

``I feel like I didn't really hit it great today but I was smart out there because I knew I was putting well.''

Dougherty was pleased with his second round after hovering near the lead Thursday but said he would have to improve aspects of his game to have a chance of winning the tournament.

``I have got a little bit of work to do on my swing, but all in all I played well,'' he said. ``I have played nicely the last couple of days but I certainly wouldn't say I'm playing my best.''

Campbell loomed into contention with a sound and consistent second round in his home open, his first tournament in New Zealand since winning the U.S. Open in 2005.

``It was a fun day even if it was a bit disappointing to bogey the last,'' Campbell said. ``I knew the only thing holding me back was my putting. I was in a bubble and that is a nice feeling as a player. Nothing was going to stop me.''