Els takes early lead on his 45th birthday

Fri 17 Oct 2014

Els takes early lead on his 45th birthday

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Hong Kong, October 17: Ernie Els of South Africa celebrated his 45th birthday by taking the second round clubhouse lead at the US$1.3 million Hong Kong Open with a five-under-par 65 on Friday.
The four-time Major winner birdied four in five holes from the 13th hole after starting his round at the 11th hole to hold a two-shot lead on nine-under-par 131 total at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin carded a 67 to trail by two shots while Marcus Both of Australia, India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia and Lu Wei-chih of Chinese Taipei were among those bunched in tied third on 134.
Els added two more birdies after the turn but dropped his only shot of the day at the fourth after hitting his tee shot into the tress before finding the bunker with his second attempt.
“The course is there for the taking. When I’m on, I’m playing nicely. I lost my concentration a little bit after the fourth hole. I’d like to improve on that. But I feel really good about my ball striking and I’m putting nicely too,” said Els.
“It could have been really low but I’m really happy with the way I started this tournament. I got a good chance of having a good chance on Sunday,” he said.
Hong Kong Open - Day TwoWhile Els had no troubles making a move on the leaderboard, Prom Meesawat of Thailand, runner-up here last year, needed a hole-in-one on the second hole to lift his spirits.
The Thai, who won his second Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei last month, rifled a superb nine-iron on the 149-yard second hole to sink his fifth career ace.
“I hit it straight at the pin and the ball rolled into the hole from eight feet. I was very happy. This is my fifth hole-in-one in a tournament. I will try to win the car during the weekend!” Prom laughed.
“I have great memories here with the hole-in-one and finishing second last year. I won a bottle champagne (Deutz Champagne) so I will enjoy it with my friends tonight!”
Ends.