Harrington Hanging Around in Taiwan


TA SHEE, Taiwan -- Maarten Lafeber posted his second consecutive round of 6-under 66 Friday to grab the lead at the midway point of the Asian Open in Taiwan. Lafeber's two-day total of 12-under-par 132 gives him a four-shot lead over Padraig Harrington and Trevor Immelman.
Adrian Percey and Andrew Pitts are tied for fourth place at 7-under par.
John Daly shot a 2-over 74 and is part of a group tied for 51st at even-par 144. The long-ball hitter had other things on his mind Friday as his mother passed away after a battle with lung cancer.
'Unfortunately, I learned while I was playing the first round that my mother has passed away,' said Daly, who played last week at the TCL Classic in China. 'Before leaving on this three-week trip, I spoke to my mom and her words and wishes were that I should play in China, Taipei and Australia.
'I am very saddened that my mother has passed away and I hurt, not only for myself but also for the rest of my family. However, I will grant my mom's wishes and continue to play here.'
Lafeber began his second round on the back nine and parred the first three holes before a birdie at No. 13. He followed the birdie with an eagle at the 581-yard 14th and birdied 17 to make the turn at 32.
Lafeber birdied the par-5 third hole but dropped a shot at the fourth. He recovered with back-to-back birdies at six and seven for the second time in as many days and parred out for his 66.
'The funny thing is that I haven't been swinging that great the last couple of months, but I've managed to put on a good swing when I need to,' Lafeber said. 'I just have to play my own game.'
Harrington mixed four birdies and two bogeys in his round Friday.
'I started well, but my concentration wasn't good today,' said Harrington, who finished second on the 2001 European money list. 'I should have done better as I was swinging the club fine. Some days it's like that. I wasn't in it today. I don't think the course played a lot different to yesterday, I just didn't do the job, and it's always annoying to bogey the last.'
Harrington shot a 70 and is tied with Immelman, who carded a 5-under 67.
Thongchai Jaidee, James Kingston, Kevin Na, Arjun Singh and Simon Yates share sixth place at 6-under-par 138.
Jyoti Randhawa, the overnight leader, struggled to a 3-over 75 and is part of a group tied for 13th at 4-under-par 140. Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam are also part of the logjam eight shots off the lead.
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-over-par 145 and 73 players advanced to the weekend. Among the notable players who missed the cut were former PGA Tour star Chip Beck and European Ryder Cupper Paul McGinley.
The Asian Open is the first event on the 2003 European Tour schedule and is co-sponsored by the European Tour and the Asian PGA Tour or Davidoff Tour.
Full-field scores from the BMW Asian Open