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The defending champion defeated Paul Lawrie in a play-off last year and he continued his love affair with Jersey by racking up an eagle and six birdies to move to -8 through 36 holes. The highlight of his round was a fantastic 40-foot putt for a three at the par-five 6th.
Green is sitting pretty now, but things weren’t looking as rosy for the Australian earlier in the week. His golf clubs didn’t arrive from America until the evening before the first round and he got off to a nightmare start with a double bogey at his first hole of the tournament. Despite that, he fought back for a credible opening round of 70 on Friday, before heading out early on Saturday to take control of the event.
“Yesterday was a bit unsettled so I didn’t really get the preparation I was looking for,” said Green. “I was pleased to play well today, and all my feels have come back a little bit. I love links golf. I live on a linksy-type golf course back home in Australia and I practice on it all the time.”
Green clearly has an affinity for the island as well as the golf course at La Moye: “I came here last year for the first time and caught up with an old friend I hadn’t seen for 12 years. There’s just some good vibes about the place.”
His nearest challenger is three-time DP World Tour winner Peter Baker at -6 after he shot a best-of-the-day bogey-free 65. The 55-year-old circled 6 red numbers, including playing the 4 par-5s in three under.
Greig Hutcheon and Markus Brier, who were tied for the first-round lead, added a 71 to their opening 68s to be tied-3rd. Unfortunately, the other first-round leader, Robert Coles, had to settle for a disappointing 74 that dropped him to -2.
Gary Orr, who finished tied-7th here last year, also sits three shots back in a tie for third thanks to a 68 that featured three birdies in the last four holes.
Five players are on -3, including Phillip Price and Paul Streeter. Order of Merit number one Adilson da Silva made it a pair of 72s to be level par for the tournament.