Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita fired nine birdies against two dropped shots to grab the second round lead at the Pine Valley Beijing Open with a solid seven-under 65 yesterday.
With a 12-under 132 total, Fujita gained a two-stroke advantage over 19-year-old Thai star Chinnarat Phadungsil, who shot a 69 in the US$1 million event.
Taiwan veteran Wang Ter-chang leaped up to third place after firing an impressive nine-under 63 to equal the course record set by Adam Scott in 2005.
Big hitting Australian Scott Hend shot his second straight 68 in fourth place, while former Asian Tour No. 1 Thongchai Jaidee carded a 66 for joint fifth spot with Australia’s Gary Simpson, who improved with a 65.
Fujita, who won the 2003 Okinawa Open, was pleased to lead the event sanctioned by the Asian, Chinese and Japanese tours.
“The conditions in China are not that different to how it is back home in Japan. But it is crucial to stay in contention tomorrow. There will be pressure to perform, but I hope to enjoy myself out there like what I did today,” Fujita said.
Overnight joint leader Chinnarat will be hoping to take advantage of the par fives heading into the weekend rounds and notch his second win in China.
“The greens were tricky out there, especially on the back nine. But the key is in the par five holes. I hope to birdie all the par fives in the remaining rounds which would definitely put me in a good position on Sunday,” the youngster said.
Wang was delighted to have recorded his best result in his professional career when he blasted nine birdies on the way to a 63.
“In my 22 years playing on the professional circuit, this is the first time I’ve shot a nine-under. I was putting extremely well and with 23 putts today, I’m really happy with my performance. Not sure if I can repeat this result, but I hope to sustain my momentum over the weekend,” said the 46-year-old Wang, who has won four titles in Asia.