NEW Zealander Daniel Pearce has the 36 hole lead at the Queensland PGA Championship, the tall, big hitting golfer from Ashburton in the South Island adding a round of 64 to his opening 63 to lead by two over Victorian Kris Mueck.
Three late birdies from Mueck swept him to a round of 63 at the City Golf Club in Toowoomba to go with an opening 66 and be 11-under heading to the weekend.
Pearce, who has played mainly on the China Tour in the past two years in addition to events on the Australasian Tour, played well in last week’s ISPS Handa New Zealand Open where he finished 11th.
He has also played well at this well previously having finished 8th twelve months ago.
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Pearce developed his game considerably in China over the last two years with several top tens and while his only win as a professional has come in a Charles Tour event in his homeland, he is considered quite a talent with a powerful game.
He is clearly beginning to hone his competitive skills at this level and his progress over the weekend will be watched with interest.
Mueck tied for third here last year and although he has not enjoyed very good results in recent months he played well in several PGA Tour of Australasia and one European Tour event in 2015 and 2016.
Included in that stretch was a runner-up finish at the 2015 New Zealand PGA Championship and a third place finish at the New Zealand Open that same year.
Sharing third place are the opening round leader, Queensland’s Blake Proverbs, and Victorian Adam Burdett while James Nitties stayed in touch with a second round of 66.
That sees Nitties tied with Queenslander Jack Munro and Canberra's Matthew Millar in a share of 5th place and four from Pearce’s lead.
The cut for the tournament came at 2-under with 56 golfers at that mark or better at the halfway stage, defending champion David Klein comfortably through to the weekend at 4-under the card.