Hilliard winds through golf exam

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Steph Bunque is well balanced when the game is moved to Kingston Heath tomorrow.

Pressure can often improve performance, but it was a kind of wave that brought Alex Hilliard to half of the Port Phillip Open Amateur today.

Hilliard tore around her home club Commonwealth this morning, apparently in a hurry, and used only 70 shots to do this.

It was only then that she revealed that she had to race to the nearby Caulfield race track to take an afternoon exam for her university course.

Her three-under-par round – a seven-shot improvement of her opening 77 – left Hilliard a two-stroke leader over one in total.

Her closest rival, New Zealander Fiona Xu, went even better in the turnaround bets and today turned an opening 80 into a second round 69 to pass through the field.

She is clearly free from Victorian Steph Bunque, who today spurred the long second to set up her even-par 73 who left her in fourth position and left alone in third place.

Overnight leaders Julienne Soo and Abbie Teasdale faded with a pair of 79s, leaving them behind in a share of eighth and now one behind one Olympic Youth Champion Grace Kim, who today took better shape with a 73 to sit in a share of sixth to seven after seven next to Kono Matsumoto.

On the men's side, it was left to Bellarine ace Ben Henkel to prevent a South Australian attack to the top of the rankings.

Henkel, from Curlewis, but a familiar face on the Sandbelt when playing pennant for Metropolitan, only knew a 76 on a tough day to score for the men.

But it was good enough to take the lead on two in total after many in the top after round one had dropped badly, including leader Louis Dobbelaar, of Queensland, who doubled the third on the way to a flat 82 and a share of 11 on 10 left.

Royal Adelaide's Billy Cawthorne (76) shares second to four with South Australian state teammate Liam Georgiadis (77), who also has his Grange clubmate Ben Tucker (73) fourth to five.

Former AFL champion Brendon Goddard was disappointed that he had missed the cut after rounds of 88-83, but said he had enjoyed his first national ranking event.

Both tournaments will be moving to Kingston Heath tomorrow for the final 36 holes.


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