Chatter box Downes climbs his way back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chatter box Downes climbs his way back

By Mike Hedge 19/12/2003 07:31:37 PM Comments (0)

Chris Downes could be a pain to play golf with.

But if he can keep up the pace he has set through the first two rounds of the Australian Open at Moonah Links, he won't mind what anyone thinks.

Downes, the leader after Thursday's first round, looked like being swallowed up by the pack after 10 holes on Friday.

The Queenslander had dropped two shots and "couldn't find the middle of the club face".

But as he left the 10th hole he decided he needed to talk to someone.

So for the rest of the round he annoyed his caddie with an endless stream of chatter and climbed his way back to the top of the leaderboard.

Downes added a two-under par 70 to his first-round 67 to be seven under and one shot clear beginning Saturday's third round.

In second place is defending champion Steve Allan who shot 66 for the low round of the day, and American Ricky Barnes who has put together a par of 69s.

Downes began his round with a flourish, but the pressure of leadership produced a series of poor shots.

Three bogies and two birdies on the front nine had him out in 37 and he dropped a shot at the 10th to be three under for the tournament.

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