INCHEON, South Korea — Brett Coletta shot his second straight 5-under 67 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over fellow Australian Cameron Davis in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
“I’m just delighted,” Coletta said. “I just focused, hit some great shots and the score showed. It was actually the complete opposite wind to yesterday and it helped to look at that before we teed off as it was a bit blustery.”
The 20-year-old Coletta eagled the par-5 15th and had five birdies and two bogeys at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, the site of the Presidents Cup matches last year.
“To be completely honest I didn’t feel I hit it as good today striking-wise, but it’s how good your bad shots are, not how good your good shots are,” Coletta said. “There were definitely some shots out there that didn’t suit my eye, so I was quite nervous over those shots. It’s the biggest event I’ve ever played. For a first-timer that’s really nerve-wracking.”
The winner Sunday will receive a spot in the Masters in the event conducted by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the Masters and The R&A.
“Obviously it’s a high reward at stake,” Coletta said. “This weekend, some decisions might change depending on the situation. Like a couple of times today there were some risk-reward shots and I turned it down and said I’m in a good position. I’d probably say no again. … I don’t think I’ve surprised myself. I know I’m up to this level if I’m playing well. It’s just a matter of doing it.”
The 21-year-old Davis, the first-round leader after a 65, birdied the last two holes for a 70.
“It was good to salvage a decent score,” Davis said. “To finish a couple under par and still be near the top is good.”
Davis was second behind China’s Jin Cheng last year in Hong Kong in the rain-shortened tournament. Two weeks ago in Mexico, Davis led Australia to victory in the World Amateur Team Championship and won the individual title.
Japan’s Junya Kameshiro was third at 7 under after a 69.
Curtis Luck, the Australian who wrapped up a Masters invitation in August with his U.S. Amateur victory, shot a 69 to match Thailand’s K.K. Limbhasut (68) and Japan’s Yuwa Kosaihira (72) at 5 under.
Limbhasut is taking off the University of California’s season to prepare to apply to the business school. He played alongside Davis and Jin.
Jin was even par after his second 72. He’s a freshman at the University of Southern California,
China’s Guan Tianlang, the 2012 winner in Thailand at age 14, was 15 over after rounds of 82 and 77. Now 17, he had three straight double bogeys in the first round and two more in the second.
The winner also will get a spot in the British Amateur and a place in final stage of British Open qualifying.