Turner surprises himself with 'decent' round

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2012
Greg Turner
Photosport
GREG TURNER: Just four shots behind the leader at the NZ Open.

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Greg Turner says being within four of the lead at the New Zealand Open proves you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Turner, 49, beamed as he sipped a beer at the post-round press conference, but realises there's plenty of golf left in the Clearwater tournament.

His one-under 71 yesterday had the 13-time professional winner at plus one, just four behind round two leader West Australian Daniel Fox.

"It was all right, I played pretty decently," Turner said. "I hit some nice shots down the stretch which was good."

But it could have been so much better for the two-time New Zealand Open winner.

Turner missed a handful of makeable putts yesterday and hit the ball in the water twice on Thursday. "If I can get rid of those [errors] then who knows what could happen. I do feel like I left a few out there, which is a nice feeling.

"I think we got the good side of the draw," he said referring to dodging most of the wind with his morning tee time on Thursday and afternoon spot yesterday.

Before the tournament started Turner said he had no expectations and, despite surprising himself with his 36-hole form, he said nothing had changed.

"I haven't earned any right to talk myself up," he said.

"It's been eight years since I retired. I went three years without hitting a shot and through the last five years, I've been playing maybe once a month. That's a long time to be away."

Because of that, expectations on his own performance were minimal, he said. Not embarrassing himself was a motivator this week.

At the other end of the experience spectrum was Hamilton's Mathew Perry.

Playing in his first professional tournament, Perry was at one stage tied for the lead, but finished the day two behind Fox at one-under.

Perry, 25, had a long amateur career and felt that held him in good stead this weekend to keep his nerves under control.

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