World No. 3 Lee Westwood battled heat and humidity before shooting a blemish-free second-round four-under 68 at the Indonesian Masters yesterday.
The overnight leader birdied the 18th hole to snap a string of eight pars and picked up three more shots for a two-day total of 11-under 133 before play was temporarily suspended because of lightning at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
“It was very hot and humid early on, and I suffered with that a little bit,” Briton Westwood said.
“It is just one of those things where it can be so hot that you can’t replenish the fluids. That’s Asia for you. I’m going to have to fluid up this afternoon,” added the Englishman, who finished third at the Masters earlier this month. “I thought it was quite tricky out there. There wasn’t much wind, but the flags were placed in tough positions. If you got close, you would still have a lot of break on the putt.”
“You want to be leading tournaments and I obviously got the hang of playing on this golf course. More importantly, I was patient and I didn’t force things to happen,” Westwood said.
Australian Kieran Pratt was five shots adrift, returning a sparkling 65 after a poor opening round of 73.
“It is only two rounds in so I need to keep going through the weekend. Obviously, Lee is a world class player and he is not going to back up, but we are going to go out there and chase him,” said the 23-year-old, in his second year on the Asian Tour.
The Taiwanese trio of Lu Wei-chih, Chiang Chen-chih and Hsu Mong-nan were in a 10-way tie for 42nd place at even-par. They did not finish their rounds.
Compatriot Lin Wen-tang sat two shots back on the 15th hole when play was stopped.
Meanwhile, the remaining seven Taiwanese in the tournament — Chang Tse-peng, Chan Shih-chang, Lin Wen-hong, Lu Tze-shyan, Wang Ter-chang, Kao Shang-hung and Lu Wen-teh — missed the cut.
Additional reporting by Ted Chang
VOLVO CHINA OPEN
Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang, 13, missed out on becoming the youngest player to make the cut in a European Tour event when he finished 12-over after 36 holes at the Volvo China Open in Tianjin yesterday.
The Guangzhou schoolboy followed up his first-round five-over 77 with a 79 at the par-72 Binhai Lake Golf Club. Guan was tied 150th out of 155 players in the US$3 million event co-sanctioned by OneAsia.
Guan had already made history just by teeing off in Tianjin at the age of 13 years, 177 days. The youngest cut-maker on the European Tour is Jason Hak, who reached the weekend at the 2008 Hong Kong Open aged 14 years, 304 days.
The story of the slight Guan, who started playing aged four and won the world junior title by 11 shots last year in San Diego, has outshone some of the big names taking part in Tianjin, including Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.
Guan, who also has hopes of reaching this year’s US Open through qualifying, received a last-minute entry to the tournament via the China Golf Association.
“Long term, I was the youngest player to win the China amateur championship and it would be nice to be the youngest to win the [Volvo China] Open,” he said this week.
After two rounds, England’s Gary Boyd and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet of France shared the lead with 11-under totals of 133.
Poulter closed with two birdies for a 71, scraping over the cut by a single shot, and Colin Montgomerie was seven strokes off the lead. However, Casey, who has struggled with injury, missed the cut at three-over 147.