Stolz Grabs Lead in Australia


Andre Stolz picked up 19 points in the modified Stableford scoring system Friday to reach 30 points and grab the halfway lead of the ANZ Championship in Sydney.
Storms have plagued the area throughout the week and Friday's second round was no different. Play was halted several times before finally being stopped with some players still on the course needing to complete their second rounds Saturday morning.
Trevor Immelman is one point behind with 29, followed by Craig Parry, who earned 18 points Friday to finish with 28 through the first two rounds.
The tournament is being contested using the modified Stableford scoring system that awards five points for an eagle, two points for birdie and znothing for par. One point is deducted for a bogey and three are taken away for a double-bogey or worse.
Stolz started on the back nine at the Lakes Club and broke into red figures early with a birdie on No. 11, but he dropped that stroke quickly with a bogey on the par-4 12th that cost him one point.
That was his only miscue until his 16th hole. He posted back-to-back birdies at the 13th and the 14th and added an eagle and five points at the par-5 17th. Around the turn, Stolz carded three birdies in a row before two birdies and a bogey down the stretch.
'I started off in the fog on 10 this morning, and my playing partner Mathias Gronberg started going ballistic with four birdies on the first five holes, so that got me going, I think,' said Stolz.
Immelman also earned 19 points Friday with seven birdies and an eagle.
Parry posted two eagles, one with a conventional three on the par-5 second, the other an ace at the par-3 15th.
'I've played The International tournament in the United States about nine or 10 times so I'm used to the format - it's different, isn't it?,' said Parry, who grabbed 18 points in the second round. 'The Lakes is well suited to the format. I'm hoping to use this week to make a move on the Top 50, as I'm very keen to play The Masters and the Accenture Match Play in a few weeks.'
Parry is currently ranked 86th and his only chance of being included in the World Match Play Championship field would be to finish in the top 64 by Monday. A victory this week, coupled with a few people withdrawing, would be the only way for him to enter the elite field.
Scott Laycock is alone in fourth with 27 points, followed by Carlos Rodiles with 25 and Gregory Havret with 24 points.
Overnight leader Jonathan Lomas has one point in the second round but only completed 13 holes. He is currently tied for 10th with 21 points.
The day's biggest move belonged to Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin, currently third on the money list. He gained 20 points in the second round and after a 7-under in the first day, the 1999 Ryder Cupper looks safe to make the 36-hole cut, which should be around plus-10. It will take place after the second round is completed Saturday morning.
Full-field scores from the ANZ Championship