Sat, Sep 09, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Ernie Els, Australia's Scott Strange share lead at Singapore Open


Ernie Els stormed back with five birdies and an eagle yesterday to share the lead with Australia's Scott Strange at the halfway mark of the Singapore Open.

Els said his six-under-par 65 on Sentosa Golf Club's 6,553m, par-71 Serapong course was thanks to a better game on the greens.

"My putting was the main difference today. I made some more putts," the South African said. "I hit some putts [on Thursday] after the round and kind of found a little secret and went with that [yesterday]."

Strange, who won this year's Philippine Open, made seven birdies against five bogeys for a two-under 69 and a two-round total of six-under 136.

Former US Open winner Michael Campbell of New Zealand dropped a double bogey and four bogeys for a disappointing four-over 75, leaving him five strokes off the lead.

Defending champion Adam Scott shot a 69 with four birdies and two bogeys to sit three strokes off the pace.

"I'm definitely striking the ball well enough. I just need to get my share of putts over the weekend," said Scott, who dropped a bogey at his last hole on the ninth when he drove into the water.

England's Lee Westwood shot a two-under 69 to remain in contention with a two-day, even-par total of 142, while Ryder Cup teammate Paul McGinley of Ireland ended his tournament with a six-over 77 to put him at 11-over 153. The cut was set at six-over 148.

Argentina's Angel Cabrera (68) was a stroke off the lead in sole third place, one shot ahead of Japan's Shingo Katayama (69) and Brad Kennedy of Australia (67).

The Big Easy moved to three-under after he sank a 40-foot birdie on the 14th, and scored further birdies at the 18th and second holes.

"It has taken me a while now to find my bearings," he said. "[Yesterday] will give me some confidence and it was only my third time playing the course. We are finding a way to score now."

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