Els two back of shortened Ballantines Championship


JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – Marcus Fraser of Australia shot a 2-under 70 Saturday to maintain his lead after the second round of the weather-shortened Ballantine’s Championship.

Fraser is at 9 under and a shot ahead of defending champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand (67), Tano Goya of Argentina (70) and Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin (68).

Organizers had to reduce the tournament to 54 holes after fog disrupted play for more than six hours on Thursday.

Ernie Els shot a 69 and is two strokes back of Fraser. The South African is going for his third win this year.

“My round could have been a lot better,” Els said. “I missed a lot of putts out there but I played pretty solidly.”

Anthony Kim began the round with four birdies in his first six holes. But he faltered over the rest of the round, which included three double bogeys, on his way to a 74 and seven shots off the pace.

“I started out very well, but unfortunately couldn’t get anything going the rest of the day,” Kim said. “I’m starting to hit the ball better. If I can roll a couple of putts in (Sunday), I should be OK.”

Conditions on Saturday were extremely windy on the Korean resort island of Jeju.

Fraser, who didn’t play on Friday but practiced, almost completed two flawless rounds until he bogeyed his second-to-last hole on Saturday, the par-4 eighth at Pinx Golf Club.

“I felt like I played just as well as I did on Thursday. But it was just very tough conditions out there,” he said.

Fraser’s lone win on the European Tour was back in 2003 at the Russian Open.

European Tour rookie Rhys Davies was in the hunt for the lead for most of the round before a triple bogey on the par-5 16th dropped him to the middle of the standings.

Y.E. Yang failed to make the cut after shooting 6 over in his first two rounds.