Thai star Thongchai Jaidee shot a flawless seven-under-par 65 to take the second round lead at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters yesterday.
Seven birdies left him with a two-day total of 10-under-par 134, while Australia’s Scott Barr trailed by two in second place after shooting his second successive 68 at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.
Australia’s Wade Ormsby was in third position on 137, while reigning Open Championship winner Ernie Els shot 70 to take tied fourth place with Hung Chien-yao of Taiwan and Australians Kieran Pratt, Jake Higginbottom and Scott Hend.
Thongchai wielded a hot putter as he continues his search for a 14th Asian Tour victory.
“My wife and two sons are here with me this week. My oldest son followed me for nine holes today, but my youngest is at the hotel. I’m very happy with my family support,” he said in an Asian Tour press release.
A top-three result at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club will push him inside the top 60 on the Official World Golf Rankings, giving him a strong chance to qualify for the US Open next month.
Els endured an energy-sapping day, but remained confident he was still in contention.
“Today was a bit of a jetlag day for me. I was trying to get some energy going. Hopefully I will have more energy tomorrow. I think my game is all there. I just need to get a bit sharper mentally,” he said.
Taiwan’s Chan Yih-shin was tied for 45th on even par, while compatriot Lin Wen-tang was in a group of players in 60th position on two-over.
AP, TIANJIN, China
Mikko Ilonen of Finland equaled the course record with a nine-under-par 63 to take a three-shot lead after two rounds of the China Open yesterday.
Another record-setter, 12-year-old amateur Ye Wocheng, missed the cut at 14 over, but Chinese compatriot Dou Zecheng became the youngest at 16 to make the tournament cut with a two-under-par total.
A day after becoming the youngest player on the European Tour, Ye was headed back to his Dongguan school with a pair of 79s, but the disappointment among local fans was offset by Dou, who was two above the cutline with scores of 70 and 72.
“I am happy with my scores, and feel excited to make the cut, so I will enjoy my game through the weekend,” Dou said. “I am not thinking too much about my score, just try my best, and get some more experience.”
Ilonen birdied four of his closing five holes in a 12-under tally to move clear of Australia’s Brett Rumford and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who recorded 67s to be tied for second.
Ilonen matched the Binhai Lake course record set last year by Sweden’s Alexander Noren, and equaled his lowest round having shot successive 63s en route to finishing second in the 2009 Madrid Masters.
Taiwan’s Hsieh Chi-hsien missed the cut after finishing the day on six-over.
Additional reporting by staff writer