Hong Kong, November 24: India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia doubled his overnight advantage to two when he carded a second round four-under-par 66 to continue leading the UBS Hong Kong Open on Friday.
Despite the gusty conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the six-time Asian Tour winner remained unperturbed as he even extended his lead to five at one stage after birdies on holes three, seven, eight, 10 and 13.
His card was marred by a lone bogey on the par-four 14 and with South Africa’s Thomas Aiken returning with the day’s lowest score of 64 to take second place, the Indian’s lead was eventually cut to two.
Thailand’s Poom Saksansin’s two-day total of five-under-par 135 saw him take a share of third place and kept him within sights of Chawrasia as he conquered his nerves to remain in contention for his third Asian Tour victory this week.
Newly-crowned Asian Tour winner, Micah Lauren Shin of the United States continued his good form by returning with a 69 to be among the front runners in tied-seventh place at the US$2 million event.
Tournament drawcards Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia meanwhile kept the galleries happy as their respective 137 and 140 total was enough to see them progress into the weekend rounds.
Did you know?
- S.S.P. Chawrasia missed the cut at the UBS Hong Kong Open last year. His best finish at the Hong Kong Open was in 2014 when he finished tied-fifth.
- Chawrasia is seeking his second win abroad following his first overseas win in the Philippines last year.
- The Indian is currently in fourth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and remains in contention to become the next Indian to lift the prestigious merit crown after Anirban Lahiri (2015), Jeev Milkha Singh (2006 & 2008), Arjun Atwal (2003) and Jyoti Randhawa (2002).
- Poom Saksansin made a total of 27 putts in his second round and his driving average over the last two days was 265 yards.
- Poom is a two-time Asian Tour winner. He won his first title in Indonesia last year before injuring his back. He returned to his best form when he won the TAKE Solutions Masters in India in August.
- Earlier in his career, Poom played mostly on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) where he won once in 2015.
- Micah Lauen Shin turned professional when he was 16. He was born in Washington and moved to the Philippines in 2011. He lives in Davao now.
- Shin came through Qualifying School in 2017 and has not missed a single cut in his last 10 starts on Tour so far this season.
“I don’t want to change anything. I’m feeling more confident today than yesterday.” – S.S.P. Chawrasia
S.S.P. Chawrasia (Ind), Second round 66 (-4), Total 131 (-9)
It was a great round today. I was five-under at one time but then three-putted 14. I hit a good tee shot, good second shot to within 10 feet. My first putt went pass the hole by about three feet and I continued to miss from there. But still, it’s a good score. I’m happy. I think the greens are very fast here and a little bit windy, of course. That’s why I think the players are struggling. I’m just following my game plan. Same thing, I’m playing last two days, exactly the same strategy. I don’t want to change anything. I’m feeling more confident today than yesterday.
Poom Saksansin (Tha), Second round 68 (-2) Total 135 (-5)
I still feel very nervous each time I play in big events like this. This is especially so when I first tee off. I just hope to have a good drive each time I tee off. But I’m feeling good because I’ve been driving the ball very well these past two days. My irons and putting have been good. I just made a little mistake on the greens as I found it tough to read them
Micah Lauren Shin (Usa), Second round 69 (-1) Total 136 (-4)
The win in Manila was a confidence booster. But I still have to play well here as it’s a different tournament. I still need to work hard and try my best to try to finish well. I’ve been putting really well. I’m kind of disappointed with how I’m driving the ball right now but hopefully over the weekend, I can hit more fairways so that I can get more birdie chances.
Justin Rose (Eng), Second round 69 (-1), Total 137 (-3)
It wasn’t easy out there. The course is playing I think really firm right now because it’s really tricky. You miss greens, it’s very hard to get a ball up and down. The lies around the greens are very awkward. Obviously with the wind gusting, it was hard to hit greens early. Very hard to judge the ball in between the trees. I think it was very cold and windy early in my round. Love to have limited a couple of the mistakes, but overall I think it was kind of a fun round. Disappointed to drop five shots but at least I made six birdies. It wasn’t easy out there. But I feel like I’m in good position. I think the lead is going to go away from us a little this afternoon. It feels nicer conditions. I’m sure there will be some guys that will play well this afternoon. But to be only two back of the morning wave means I’m in position for the weekend.
Sergio Garcia (Esp), Second round 71 (+1), Total 140 (Even)
I played terrible the last two days. At least I managed to hold it together to make the cut, but I didn’t feel comfortable at all with my swing, and didn’t putt that great. It’s been a tough couple of days, but hopefully get better on the weekend. Obviously these weather conditions make it a little bit tougher, but you know, I had the idea that the course was going to play fairly difficult, even if the weather would have been with no wind. Mainly because the greens are firm. They are not that easy to hit it close to the pin. There’s a lot of tight drives there on the front nine more than anything. That’s kind of it. Obviously I would love to play a little bit better, more like I played last week. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it.
Leading Scores after round 2 of the UBS Hong Kong Open Championship 2017 being played at the par 70, 6710 Yards Hong Kong GC course (am – denotes amateur):
131 – S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 65-66.
133 – Thomas AIKEN (RSA) 69-64.
135 – Alexander BJORK (SWE) 69-66, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 67-68, Joakim LAGERGREN (SWE) 69-66, Julian SURI (USA) 68-67.
136 – Thomas DETRY (BEL) 67-69, Keith HORNE (RSA) 67-69, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 67-69, Jamie DONALDSON (WAL) 67-69, Marcus KINHULT (SWE) 67-69, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-68, Dylan FRITTELLI (RSA) 71-65, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-68.
137 – Justin ROSE (ENG) 68-69, LI Haotong (CHN) 68-69, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 66-71, Chris HANSON (ENG) 71-66, James MORRISON (ENG) 71-66, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 69-68, Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 69-68.
138 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 70-68, Angelo QUE (PHI) 67-71, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 70-68, Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA) 71-67.
139 – Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 71-68, Paul WARING (ENG) 71-68, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 68-71, Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 70-69, Sean CROCKER (USA) 69-70, Rashid KHAN (IND) 71-68, Yikeun CHANG (KOR) 69-70, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 71-68, Matthew FITZPATRICK (ENG) 66-73, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 68-71, Gregory HAVRET (FRA) 69-70, Danny CHIA (MAS) 68-71.
140 – Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 69-71, Robert KARLSSON (SWE) 72-68, Pedro ORIOL (ESP) 72-68, Ryan EVANS (ENG) 71-69, Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 69-71, Scott HEND (AUS) 73-67, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 69-71, Harold VARNER III (USA) 69-71.
+2 (142) was the final cut, 69 players made the cut
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