Brilliant Bradley opens up four-shot lead

Fri 25 Oct 2013

Brilliant Bradley opens up four-shot lead

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Kuala Lumpur, October 25: American Keegan Bradley turned on the heat with a sizzling six-under-par 66 to charge into a four-shot halfway lead at the US$7 million CIMB Classic on Friday.
The 27-year-old Bradley, winner of the 2011 PGA Championship, wielded a hot putter to sink seven birdies, including five on his homeward stretch, for a two-day total of 13-under-par 131 in the US$7 million tournament sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR.
Overnight leader Ryan Moore of the United States battled to an even par 72 for outright second while Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, signed for a 69 to share third place with American Chris Stroud on 136.
A superb 65 hauled Australian Marc Leishman back into contention at tied fifth place on 137 alongside Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who grinded out a 71 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course.
Bradley needed only 26 putts for the second straight day as he put himself in prime spot to land the top prize of US$1.26 million this week.
Ryan Moore of USA Ryan Moore of USA
“Yeah, these last two rounds were really fun. Some of the best golf I've played in a long time.  Obviously, I'm in a great spot here with two rounds to go,” said Bradley, who is ranked 15th in the world.
After a winless season on the PGA TOUR, Bradley put in the hours sharpening his short game which has yielded two impressive rounds in Malaysia.  “I worked very hard in these last couple weeks, a lot of short game, a lot of chipping,” he said.
“I felt as in control of my golf ball today as maybe I've ever felt.  So that is a really good sign on this golf course. When I'm hitting the ball like this and my putter kind of matches up, normally I'm going to be right in there contending.”
The only distraction for the likeable American was the fact that he hasn’t been able to watch the live broadcasts of the baseball World Series which his favourite team, Boston Red Sox is tied at 1-1 with the St Louis Cardinals.
“In the back of my mind, I'm wondering what's going on,” said Bradley. “I know my mom at home was flipping back and forth watching. My girlfriend, Jillian, is a big Red Sox fan too and she was giving me updates as best as she could.”
After converting all his birdie putts in the opening round, Moore endured a frustrating day on the slick greens in his second round which needed 29 putts, four more than yesterday.
“It wasn't the round I had yesterday, but it amazingly enough wasn't too dissimilar. I actually controlled the ball really well.  Obviously, just didn't make any putts, but I still hit some pretty good shots overall,” said Moore, who is a two-time winner in the United States.
“I just didn't get it to those eight to 12 footers. I seemed to be in that 15 to 20 foot range today and just wasn't able to convert them.”
Stroud, seeking his first career victory, produced a bogey-free card to stay within striking reach of Bradley although he was disappointed to miss several birdie opportunities. “I left a few out there,” said the 32-year-old. “It's a great test of golf. The greens are actually nice and firm.  But Keegan's setting a good pace out there. And I believe that's where the numbers are going to be.”
Kiradech continued to shine against the stars from the PGA TOUR at the venue which he won the Malaysian Open in March for his second Asian Tour triumph. Playing alongside Phil Mickelson and title holder Nick Watney, who are on 141 and 144 respectively, the burly Thai birdied his opening three birdies before dropping a bogey on 14 and finishing up with a closing birdie.
“Every time I'm playing here, I feel like I'm home, I guess due to the weather and a lot of fans follow and shout for me. That gives me a lot of power to play in this country,” said the 24-year-old.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Phil Mockelson Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Phil Mockelson
“In the first two rounds, I have started great. Yesterday on the front nine, I was five-under and today the way I started the first three holes, three birdies in a row made my game easier, made my golf easier. But on the back nine, I started thinking about maybe I can win here again and then missed a few birdie chances.”
Scores after round 2 of the 2013 CIMB Classic being played at the par 72, 6924 Yards Kuala Lumpur GCC course (a- denotes amateur):
131 - Keegan Bradley (USA) 65-66.
135 - Ryan Moore (USA) 63-72.
136 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 67-69, Chris Stroud (USA) 67-69.
137 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 66-71, Marc Leishman (AUS) 72-65.
138 - Martin Laird (SCO) 68-70, Harris English (USA) 71-67, Chris Kirk (USA) 67-71, Gary Woodland (USA) 68-70, Stewart Cink (USA) 70-68, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-68.
139 - Bill Haas (USA) 72-67, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 70-69, K.J. Choi (KOR) 68-71, Graham DeLaet (CAN) 72-67, Shiv Kapur (IND) 69-70.
140 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 73-67, Josh Teater (USA) 74-66, Jerry Kelly (USA) 71-69, Jeff Overton (USA) 73-67, Kyle Stanley (USA) 73-67, Kevin Stadler (USA) 71-69, Nicholas Thompson (USA) 69-71.
141 - Charles Howell III (USA) 69-72, Phil Mickelson (USA) 71-70, Boo Weekley (USA) 67-74, Tim Clark (RSA) 72-69, Charley Hoffman (USA) 69-72, Billy Horschel (USA) 72-69, Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 67-74, Camilo Villegas (COL) 70-71.
Ends.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately US$18.4 billion as at 31 Jul 2013 and over 42,000 employees located in 17 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 945 million households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2012, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $130 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.86 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.