Edfors Stays in Front

Fri 27 Mar 2009

Edfors Stays in Front


Hua Hin, Thailand, March 27: Sweden's Johan Edfors stayed on track to win the inaugural Black Mountain Masters after a four-under-par 68 kept him in the early second round lead on Friday.

The big-hitting Swede carded five birdies against his first dropped shot of the tournament at Black Mountain Golf Club to open up a four-shot lead from Australian Jason King with the afternoon session play in progress.


Upcoming Chinese talent Wu Ashun continued to show his credentials with a second straight 69 but is six shots behind Edfors, who is a three-time winner in Europe, heading into the weekend rounds.

"I played pretty solid and took advantage of the par fives, same as yesterday. It was a solid round," said Edfors, who birdied the four par five holes.

The 33-year-old was happy to keep a small army of Swedish thrilled with his wonderful performance so far in the US$500,000 Asian Tour event.

"There is a big Swedish community here and it's nice that they are out here cheering for me. It feels like you're in Sweden. Most of the people help me out and it's fun. It gives me some extra momentum," said Edfors.

Swirling winds made life difficult for the field with Edfors dropping his first bogey of the tournament at his last hole on the ninth. "The winds were swirling around a lot and made the approach shots a bit tricky. I made a couple of errors on my back nine. It's tough to go for the flag when you're not sure about the wind. I was a bit conservative out there. And then I made a scrappy bogey at my last hole but that's okay," said Edfors.

With three wins in 2006, he is itching to return to the winner's enclosure and plans to keep his foot on the pedal. :I'll try to play the way I've been doing. There are a lot of birdies out there and I will just try to avoid any high numbers and unnecessary bogeys. If I can keep shooting sub 70 rounds, I have a good chance to win the tournament.


"I've been striking the ball nicely for quite some time but I've not been able to hole putts. But I've been hitting a lot of good putts this week. If I can keep doing that, hopefully I can lift the trophy on Sunday."

The 30-year-old King will be looking for a win as he lost his Asian Tour card by two rungs last year and then missed out at Qualifying School in January.

"It was frustrating as I felt I played reasonably well. When it comes down to (missing his card) by only US$2,000, it is disappointing. I had a lot of opportunities to do better last year and I had opportunities to do that this year but I think I struggled to turn up and concentrate and play my normal game," said King.

"That was hard and I took too much time to get over it. I think now, I have gotten past it and looking forward to the rest of the year on the Asian Tour. From what I learnt last year, it's all about controlling your emotions. If I can do that, I can put myself in position to win. I'm certainly playing well enough to win. It's just a matter of dealing with the pressure."

The 23-year-old Wu is already touted as the next player from China to have the potential to win on the Asian Tour and follow in the footsteps of trailblazer Zhang Lian-wei and 2007 Asian number one Liang Wen-chong.

He overcame a double bogey early in his round with five birdies to stay within touching distance of the leader. "I had a 'fried egg' in the bunker on four but I just told myself to forget about the double bogey," said Wu, who only picked up the game seven years ago.

"I hit my irons close for birdies and I putted well. The key for me is to stay relaxed and be happy so that I'm thinking well on the golf course. I'm just thinking of fairways and greens.

"I feel I can win on the Asian Tour, maybe event this year. I've enjoyed the experience and I'm learning at every tournament."