YESTERDAY came the round Gareth Paddison had to have.
The New Zealander kept his chances for back-to-back Victorian PGA Championship crowns alive with an impressive six-under par during the second day of play at Creswick’s Forest Resort.
The 32-year-old carded six birdies and an eagle yesterday morning to help erase some of the damage done on the opening day when he blasted a five-over round of 77.
Paddison has now made the cut in equal 19th position, six shots from the leaders.
“I putted really well (in round one) but didn’t hole anything. I lipped-out eight times apparently so it could have been totally different,” Paddison said.
“I just made some silly errors and that was the difference. I was hitting them well going into the event and was really surprised by my first round so coming out and shooting 66 was nice.
“You are not a million miles away from the leaders.”
While back in contention, Paddison is under no illusions as to the task at hand.
“If you are within nine shots (going into round three) I think you would certainly be a chance, but you have to play exceptionally well then. Things have to go your way and things have to go against the leaders,” he said.
Paddison said it was a real thrill to be back defending the tournament he won last year.
“I haven’t won a huge amount so it is quite an honour to come back and defend a title that you’ve won,” he said.
“Tournaments are hard to come by these days so it’s nice to come back here and, at least, now I’m in the cut and actually under par.”
Paddison will partner Victorian Matthew Griffin today, with the pair to tee-off from 9.20am.