Eagle-eyed Lawson leads by six at WA Open

21st Oct 2022

By Tony Webeck, PGA of Australia

Three eagles and two crucial par saves at the turn have propelled Deyen Lawson to a six-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Nexus Advisernet WA Open at The Western Australian Golf Club in Perth.

Following on from his eight-under 62 on day one, Lawson arrived for his 12.36pm tee time trailing WA amateur Adam Brady (63) by one.

A 3-iron and holed wedge from 127 metres later, Lawson returned to the top of the leaderboard.

On top of his extraordinary start at the par-4 10th, he would eagle the par-5 sixth and eighth holes to go with four birdies, a bogey and double bogey in a round of seven-under 63 and 36-hole total of 15-under, leaving fellow players gob-smacked in the process.

Lincoln Tighe (67, T5) called Lawson’s 62 on day one “insane”. Michael Sim (64, T2) remarked, “Are you serious?” when told of Lawson’s pair of eagles at the par 5s.

When asked to sum up his playing partner’s play for the past two days Jack Murdoch (71, T31) could only reply, “Very good. With as many verys as you want to put in front of it.”

Four times a runner-up on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Lawson knows he has never been in better position to log a maiden tour win.

“Because I’m 15-under and not eight behind,” Lawson said of his prospects of a win.

“I’m just getting a bit older. I’ve been out here a little while now. I’ve been in Europe since 2018 and played with some of the best in the world. It’s not a coincidence why they’re the best in the world, the way they go about it.

“Nothing seems to faze them. They do get frustrated but you watch someone like Cam Smith and (Rory) McIlroy, it just looks like they’re having a bit of a stroll.

“They’re good players but the way they handle it is really impressive.”

Lawson found the green with his 3-wood from 259 metres and 239 metres respectively at six and eight but admitted that it was two putts mid-round that kept his round on track.

He made a six-footer for par on the par-5 18th and a 10-foot par save at the par-3 first after finding the bunker right of the green.

“They’re probably the key moments,” said Lawson, who will return to DP World Tour Qualifying School in early November. “Especially after making a pretty poor double on 16.

“To make those really good pars and go to the second where I hit a really good gap wedge to a foot just really got the round going in the right direction again.

“It could have slipped very easily. Miss a couple of par putts and you’re back to level after a hot start.

“I fought on and hit some really good shots the last six, seven holes.”

Brady and Sim are Lawson’s nearest challengers at nine-under par followed by Victorian Tom Power Horan (66, eight-under) and Tighe and Chris Wood (66) at seven-under.

A total of 60 players survived the cut-line that fell at even par.

The field will be led out on the weekend by competitors in the WA Open All Abilities Championship, Sawtell Golf Club’s Cameron Pollard the favourite following his win at the WA PGA All Abilities Championship last week.

The All Abilities Championship will start play at 7.56am AWST with the WA Open lead groups to tee off at 9.57am.