Kuala Lumpur, February 2: A red-hot Lee Westwood fired 11 birdies for a stunning 10-under-par 62 to share the second round clubhouse lead with Japanese star Yuta Ikeda and Marc Warren at the Maybank Championship on Friday.
The former world number one bounced back from an opening 72 and was solid from tee-to-green as he charged into contention at the US$3 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Japan’s Yuta Ikeda returned with a superb bogey-free 64 while Warren of Scotland posted a 66 as they shared the clubhouse lead with Westwood on 10-under-par 134 at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
Stephen Gallacher (65), Daisuke Kataoka (67) and Hideto Tanihara (64) were a further shot back in fourth place in a crowded leaderboard as players took advantage of the calmer and ideal scoring conditions in the morning.
Westwood continued his affinity with Asia where he has won nine times including the Malaysian Open in 1997 at Saujana. He is in position again to win at the course where he was former touring professional from 1996 to 1999.
“Until the eighth hole, my 17th, I hadn’t holed anything over five feet. Tee to green it was brilliant, one bogey and 11 birdies, and now in contention,” said Westwood.
“It was enjoyable, there were a lot of birdies going in out there. It’s nice to be in contention and to know this golf course well. I won the Malaysian Open here 21 years ago now, and I’ve won this tournament and was touring pro for this course, so I’ve probably played it more than most and I know where to hit it,” he added.
Ikeda, the world number 43, fired eight birdies to put himself in prime position to secure his first victory outside of Japan.
“I played the same yesterday but I had more birdie chance today so it was very good. I struggled on the greens (on Thursday) because it was so tricky. I couldn’t judge the lines on the greens. Now I’m in a good position and I’m glad to finish 36 holes,” said Ikeda.