HONG KONG (AP)—Liang Wenchong shot a bogey-free 5-under 65 Friday to move intoa four-way tie for the lead after the second round of the Hong Kong Open.
Liang, the first Chinese player to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit, madefive birdies at the Hong Kong Golf Club to move to 9-under 131. Charl Schwartzel (66) also had five birdies after a bogey on the first hole, while Gregory Bourdy shot a 67 and Robert-Jan Derksen had a 68 to claim a share of the lead.
“I’m in a good position and I know that the next two days will becrucial,” the 31-year-old Liang said. “If I continue to play as well as I’vebeen doing the past two days, this will be a very good week for me.”Liang Wen-chong of China hits …
AP - Nov 13, 6:02 am EST
Derksen, who was 7 under on Thursday, turned in a mixed performance Fridaywith six birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey.
“You can’t shoot 63 every day, so I’m pleased with the score,” theDutchman said, noting the colder weather.
Rory Sabbatini (67) and Chinnarat Phadungsil (66) were one stroke behind theleaders, and Udorn Duangdecha squandered his overnight lead by shooting 4 overin the second round, dropping into a tie for 34th at 4 under.
PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang briefly held the clubhouse lead aftershooting a 67 to bring him to 7 under. Asia’s first major winner finished theday tied for seventh with defending champion Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan (69), DannyChia (66), David Dixon (69) and Scott Strange (65).
Rory McIlroy outpaced his chief rival for the European Tour money title, LeeWestwood . McIlroy had three birdies and a bogey, while Westwood only managed a70 to fall farther back to 34th, where he’s tied with 2003 British Open championBen Curtis (72) and seven others.
Westwood said he was having trouble adjusting to the course in his Hong Kongdebut.
“These greens are a complete mystery to me,” the Englishman said. “Can’tpick a line, can’t get the speed. Just at a massive disadvantage here being myfirst time here.”
Westwood currently holds a slender lead over McIlroy in the Race to Dubaicompetition, with Hong Kong the final stop before the season-ending championshipthat carries a bonus pool of $7.5 million. Liang and Derksen are looking tosecure berths in Dubai, which is limited to the top 60 players on the money listafter the $2.5 million Hong Kong tournament. The Chinese is currently No. 60 andthe Dutchman is No. 78.
Eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie just madethe cut after shooting a 69 to move to 2 under overall. But 1998 Masters andBritish Open champion Mark O’Meara fell out of contention after shooting a5-over 75, as did defending European Tour Order of Merit winner Robert Karlsson (69) and Oliver Wilson (72).
The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.