Sim eagles final hole to grab outright lead

Michael Sim’s spectacular eagle on his final hole gave him the outright lead midway through the second round of the Isuzu Queensland Open.

Sim navigated gusty, unpredictable winds at The Brisbane Golf Club to notch five birdies and the eagle in his round of 66 to wrest a one stroke lead from overnight leader Darren Beck.

After opening with a two-under 69 on Thursday, Sim’s fine second round has him at seven-under par for the tournament.

“The wind was there pretty much for the entire round which made it tricky,’’ he said.

“But I hit some quality shots and had a nice chip-in from the fringe of the green on the 11th. It could have been anything out there… if it wasn’t for my putting from six to eight feet it might have been an even-par round or worse.’’

With Brisbane Lions AFL player Daniel Rich on his bag, Sim capitalised on his chances, especially on his final hole (the par-5, 445m, 9th) where he hit driver down the left side, rifled a 7-iron to pin-high and rolled in the seven metre putt for eagle.

“I scrambled really well all day and made an unbelievable birdie on the third when I hit a 5-iron out of the right rough to about six feet,’’ he said.

Sim finished third in the West Australian Open last week and is ideally placed going into the weekend. Endowed with abundant talent, Sim was the top-ranked amateur in the world in 2009 and won four times on the Web.com Tour as a young professional.

Originally from Perth, Sim relocated to the Gold Coast about four years ago.

Another to card a five-under 66 in the morning field was Kiwi Kieran Muir who improved nine strokes on his opening round to be at one-under after 36 holes.

“I actually did not play that badly in the first round,’’ he said. “Today I got a bit of momentum going when the greens were soft and played with a bit more freedom.

“I didn’t think the wind was too bad when the ball was in the air. The problem was what happened when the ball hit the greens.’’

Redcliffe amateur Douglas Klein had a 67 to follow his opening 74 while Max McCardle remained in the firing-line for the weekend with rounds of 67-72 to be three shots off the pace.

Scores: Click here

Michael Sim - Qld Open