It took a Scot to tame the windy conditions Friday at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Russell Knox has plenty of experience playing in the breeze, and while many of his peers struggled, the 30-year-old fired a bogey-free, 7-under 65 during the second round at Sheshan International. He has dropped just one shot through 36 holes and heads into the weekend alone in second place, two shots behind Kevin Kisner.
Knox's performance comes despite a last-minute paperwork scramble to get to China for this week's no-cut event. Knox was the last player added to the 78-man field, and he wasn't notified of his spot until last Friday before his round at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
"My wife (Andrea) was a superstar and she filled out all the forms for us, and while we were playing on Friday, she took all the stuff to the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur and had all the stuff processed," Knox said. "Then we had to wait around until Monday at 2 p.m. to get them back, and they gave us our passports. Flew Tuesday morning here."
Knox's wife was able to get a head start on the couple's visa process, but she wasn't able to fill out the forms for Knox's caddie. That meant that when the couple landed in Shanghai Tuesday, it was up to Andrea to haul the clubs for Knox's first look at Sheshan International.
"We got a stand bag from the pro here and chucked the clubs in and played the quickest practice round ever," he said. "She complained heavily for the last nine holes."
Knox has had chances to win before, notably a playoff loss at the 2014 Honda Classic, but he has yet to lift a PGA Tour trophy. Should he win this week, he would become the first player to win a WGC event in his maiden WGC start since Jeff Maggert won the very first WGC tournament in 1999.
Knox doesn't plan on cutting Andrea in on this week's prize winnings, but said she won't leave Asia empty-handed for her various efforts.
"Don't worry, there was a nice mall across the street (from the embassy) that she took care of herself," he joked.