Giles threatens Poulter's lead

Poulter had Giles pipped at the end of yesterday's round, but only by two strokes.
Poulter had Giles pipped at the end of yesterday's round, but only by two strokes. Getty Images Sport - Stuart Franklin

FIVE years ago, Matthew Giles bobbed up at the Australian Open at Royal Sydney with Greg Norman in his group and he was the kid going somewhere. He was world junior champion, just 17 and full of promise.

But he has had his travails. Giles, 22, went to university in southern California. He moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, and turned professional, winning a berth on the secondary Nationwide Tour. But this year, his first full season as a professional, he made just eight cuts and $50,000 in prizemoney, losing his full status.

Returning to Sydney instead of heading back to tour school, he has profited. He hit the lead on the final day of the Australian PGA Championship in Coolum last month, and yesterday carded a 68 at Victoria to go with his brilliant opening-round 67 to take the early lead, only to be overhauled by day one leader Ian Poulter, of England, by two strokes but he held on to outright second.

The boy from Cronulla and the Australian Golf Club had never played Victoria before this week. But he came with a game plan and his first round of four under par in the wind on Thursday afternoon was probably as good as any played on the opening day.

Playing yesterday in the calm, morning conditions, he capitalised.


Topics:  australian open ian poulter jbwere masters

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