NICK Flanagan is happy off the golf course and it is showing on it.
The US-based Novocastrian is the equal leader at 14 under alongside West Australian Jason Scrivener at the halfway point of the $1.5 million Victorian Open at Barwon Heads.
After opening with a 10-under 62, Flanagan put together a steady round of 68 on Friday.
“I'm probably happier with today's round considering it was backing up that 62 and it could have been anything today,” Flanagan said.
“I probably could have been a couple better, but I had my fair share of long putts and good breaks so far the first two days.”
Flanagan’s positive mindset has translated on the scorecard at 13th Beach Golf Links as he continues his comeback from an injury plagued few years.
“The thing I'm kind of working on at the moment is just really being kind of happy with the effort I'm making on every shot and not worrying about result,” he said
“Its cliché, but it works. So my goal is to really get to the end of a round and be happy between the ears with what I've done and if it's a 74 or a 64, it doesn't really matter, that's the goal for the weekend.”
Flanagan, who hasn’t won a tour event since 2012, leads the Hunter contingent.
James Nitties (64,74), second overnight, slipped to 44th at six under after a disastrous triple bogey at the last hole on Friday.
Charlestown amateur Blake Windred (70,67) continued his strong form to be at seven under and tied for 35th.
Andrew Dodt (67,71) and Aaron Townsend (69,69) are at six under, a stroke ahead of Dylan Perry (68,71).
Cal O’Reilly (71,71) and Jake Higginbottom (72,70) missed the cut which was at five under.
Playing in the morning field, Scrivener fired a blemish free six-under 66 to ensure to move to 14-under.
After recording three top-10 finishes in his past four European Tour events - including a tie for seventh at the Dubai Desert Classic in January - Scrivener was one of the pre-tournament favourites at 13th Beach.
"Any time your game is in a good place and you're making cuts and putting yourself in contention it's good for the confidence," he said.
"I just think that over the last 12 months I've made some big improvements on my game and just steadily progressed over the last couple of years.
"I feel like it's in a good position and I just want to give myself more chances to win tournaments."
The $1.5 million men's Vic Open is being co-sanctioned by the European Tour for the first time in 2019.
"There's a long way to go and there are a lot of good players here," he said.
"I definitely feel like I've been knocking on the door and the more chances I give myself the better."
Meanwhile, Australian Su Oh is perfectly placed at the halfway stage to challenge for the women's Vic Open title.
Oh shot a second-round four-under 68 on Friday to be in outright third place at 10-under, three shots behind American Kim Kaufman.