Australia’s Michael Wright consolidated his lead at the halfway stage of the Australian Masters as Adam Scott failed to make much headway at Melbourne’s Metropolitan on Friday.
Starting the day tied for the lead, Wright carded a four-under 68 to be two shots clear of the field on nine-under 135.
World number two Scott, chasing his third straight Masters title, trailed Wright by six shots in joint 11th spot.
The 2013 Augusta Masters champion posted a four-under 68 to lie three-under on 141 heading into the weekend rounds.
“I felt, certainly, on the front nine, there was a low round out there,” Scott said.
“If it’s similar conditions tomorrow, with three par-5s on the front nine, someone is going to turn low, it’s possible.”
“But, I still have to hit a lot of good shots and make a lot of putts to do it.”
Scott is using the Masters as preparation for next week’s showdown with world number one Rory McIlroy in the Australian Open in Sydney.
Wright was a model of consistency, backing up his five-under 67 in the first round to capture the outright lead after he was one of four players to lead after the opening 18 holes.
“This is a golf course where you’ve got to play the course, I’m not concerned what he’s (Scott) doing,” said Wright, who has won three tier-two Australasia PGA events.
“Obviously, he’s a fantastic player and I would expect him to play well over the weekend but I expect myself to play well too.”
Australian Paul Spargo went around in five under to be two shots behind Wright and local professional Richard Green also produced a 67 to move to six under.
Spargo is tied with Melbourne amateur Todd Sinnott, who backed up his impressive opening round.
Americans Kyle Stanley (69-73), Boo Weekley (72-72) and Zac Blair (70-75) all made the cut.