December 1, 2017 / 8:41 AM / a year ago

Leishman, Bland take lead at Australian PGA as Scott bows out

(Reuters) - Marc Leishman and Adam Bland carved out a two-stroke lead at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Australian PGA Championship on Friday as former winner Adam Scott’s campaign came to an end.

Sep 28, 2017; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Marc Leishman hits a tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round foursomes match of The President's Cup golf tournament at Liberty National Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports - 10313656

Local hero Leishman struck seven birdies and an eagle in a round of seven-under-par 65 to be level on 12-under with Adam Bland who hit a second consecutive six-under 66.

“I felt really good on the range and felt good yesterday as well. I was striking the ball well and thought I would be pretty aggressive all day, especially after making birdies on the first couple of holes,” said Leishman, who had birdies on three of his first five holes.

“When you’re on a run like that and playing well, you sort of can afford to be aggressive. If you make a few mistakes, you feel like you can make some birdies.”

South Australian Bland had just one bogey in his seven birdies on Friday.

“It’s always great to get off to a flying start but if you can’t back it up in the second round or at least be thereabouts, you’re kind of just chasing your tail for the rest of the week,” Bland said.

“So it was really important to get off to a good start this morning and I seemed to do that, so it was great.”

Former world number one Scott had four bogeys in five holes to card a dismal two-over 74 and failed to make the cut at Queensland while U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia fell to joint-10th with a one-under 71.

Cameron Smith, early leader Jordan Zunic and Rhein Gibson were tied for fourth at nine-under.

Defending champion Harold Varner III was a further two shots behind in joint-seventh alongside James Nitties and Brett Rankin.

Garcia, Joachim Hansen, Peter Senior and Hong Kong Open winner Wade Ormsby were 10th at six-under. Varner, Garcia and Hansen were the only non-Australians in the top 10 heading into the weekend.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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