Surprise leader Wright steals spotlight in Melbourne

Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:34am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Unheralded Queenslander Michael Wright broke clear of a logjam atop the Australian Masters leaderboard to take a two-shot lead after the second round on Friday, while double defending champion Adam Scott battled hard to keep in touch.

Scott shot a four-under 68 on a glorious afternoon at Melbourne's Metropolitan Golf Club, but the world number two remained six strokes off the pace and behind a lengthy list of local tour grafters.

At the top was 771st-ranked Wright, one of a quartet of overnight leaders, who showed impressive poise in a 68 of his own to snatch the lead.

Wright, whose biggest triumphs have been three state-level PGA titles Down Under, was candid about his long battle to control nerves after his opening 67 on Thursday.

"I felt very comfortable out there today. I'm looking forward to trying to feel comfortable over the next couple of days," said Wright, who bogeyed his first hole in the tournament but has not dropped a shot since.

"There were a few (thoughts) but I managed to really keep them under wraps today. I felt a lot more relaxed in my body.

"It's when I get busy in the mind and start tightening things up I get into trouble."

Wright said he would try not to look over his shoulder over the weekend, with Scott expected to push hard.   Continued...