NSW Golf

Sondjaja sizzles to outright lead

Ruben Sonjaja
Ruben Sondjaja in action at the Western Amateur. he has fired a sizzling 64 in the second round

Sydney's Ruben Sondjaja has fired a sizzling seven-under-par 64 to grab the outright lead after two rounds of the Western Amateur at the Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, Illinois.

Sondjaja sits at 12 under, one shot clear of American Brad Dalke.

Next best of the Australian contingent is Western Australia's Min Woo Lee in fourth at 6 under. The Vintage Golf Club's Dylan Perry has consolidated his good start with a four-under-par 67 to add to his first-round 68 to sit alongside New Zealand’s Ryan Chisnell in a four-way tie for fifth a shot further back  at seven under.

Melburnian Karl Vilips is also in the top 10, sitting in tied ninth position after a second-round 69 left him six under, while Sydney's Travis Smyth (71) and the Sunshine Coast's Charlie Dann (67) made the cut on the number at one under.

Sondjaja was in superb form with five birdies and an eagle in his sparkling round and is yet to make a bogey around the tough Skokie layout.

"It was another solid round today. I stuck to my game plan and gave myself a lot of opportunities," Sondjaja said.

"I've simply been hitting great misses and keeping the ball in play."

The Iowa State University student conceded that a full summer of golf wasn't in his original plans. He was meant to be crunching numbers as a summer intern.

"I actually had committed to an accounting internship and that fell through, so I decided to commit to golf and give it my best," he said.

"Instead of crunching numbers in a cubicle, I'm playing great golf courses and travelling around America. It's hard not to enjoy myself out here!"

Perry, one of the late finishers, was content with his second-round effort of 67.

"I'm thereabouts, mate. It's going to be awesome to be in the mix come the final two rounds," Perry said.

The remaining 53 players (top 44 and ties) left in the tournmanet are due to play 36 holes tonight to decide the low 16 finishers after four rounds. The "Sweet 16" will then compete at match play on Thursday and Friday to decide the champion.

Past champions include Queensland's Bronson LaCassie who won in 2006, Danny Lee, Jamie Lovemark, Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickleson, Hal Sutton, Curtis Strange, Ben Crenshaw and Jack NIcklaus.

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