by Tony Webeck, PGA of Australia
A month after missing a European Tour card, Dimi Papadatos is positioned for a chance at the Australian PGA Championship, thanks in part to a "good six" on the par-5 9th
At the start of the second round at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, the gap ahead, Papadatos dropped a shot on the par-3 second but made three birdies in the five-hole space, with which a 2-under par round of 70 was completed pointed out 7-under and control leader as the afternoon groups left off.
Former champ Harold Varner III kicked off with his second round with birdies on each of his opening three holes to also become 7-under, but a double-bogey on the second stopped his momentum, saving a good par on the ninth for a 69 and 6-under halfway.
Runner-up at the Australian Open two weeks ago, Papadatos birdied the par-5 ninth hole on Thursday, but despite dropping a shot on Friday, he said he was able to take momentum in his back nine.
"I hit my second shot and was a bit too aggressive and pulled him into the water," said Papadatos about his approach to a pinhead on the left side of the green.
"The drop nearly rolled back into the danger and was in a terrible lie, so I had to stand on the rocks to play my next shot.
"I chipped the next one in the bunker and then went up and down.
"In the end it was a good six."
Varner had similar problems with the gap that almost half a shot more easily plays than his par, but made a sand saving of the right incident to 5 and remained close to the top of the leaderboard.
"You know, to put it in the water at 9 and be right and have a little luck, that's the kind of things you need to give your way," said Varner, the 2016 PGA champion at Royal Pines in 2016.
"It's what it is, I tried to hit it 20 meters to the right, it's just a heavy tee-ball, but the 20/20 from behind.
"I wish I would have hit a driver, a driver or a 4-iron, but it is what it is.
"I was not relieved (when the putt came in), it was just that you had to play golf When things do not go your way, find a way to get them started and do that.
"That's why I play, so I called something that gets me started.
"I think something good is going to happen, the last two holes today were very good.
"Just excited to be here and have a chance."
Despite the ideal conditions, the best of the morning scores belonged to the Canadian Nick Taylor, who placed a 4-under par-round of 68 to return to 2-under, the Bermuda grass green and poor pin positions that were a potential birdie blitz at distance to hold.
"The conditions were perfect this morning, but there were also a few tricky pins that you can catch very quickly," said Papadatos, who played the back-9 in 1-under thanks to a birdie on the par-5 12.
"The greens are a large area, but the grain is very difficult to read, and you have to be pretty good at that.
"There is a low score, it is difficult, but it is certainly possible.
"It is one of those jobs where you have to play well all round.
"Once you have taken one bad chance on one of the holes, you have a bit of a job ahead"
Either a victory on Sunday or a top position on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour or Australasia Order of Merit would give Papadatos the full status on the European Tour for 2019, status that he essentially gave up when he reported a rules violation during the Challenge Tour Championship in the United States States of Arab Emirates last month.
Refuse to believe that karmic forces are at work now – "you are certainly making your own fortune in this game" – Papadatos was glad he could bounce back so quickly.
"I've had a few disappointments in my career and I've just learned that the longer you worry, the worse it gets," said the 27-year-old who claimed the Portugal Open earlier this year.
"If I get up too badly, I'm not really good.
"I think I am in a good position, I can not ask much more than to go in on Saturday."