Two-Time Defending Champ Back in Hunt


European TourKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- More lightning storms wreaked havoc with the second round of the Malaysian Open on Friday.
On Thursday, it was a nearly three-hour stoppage that ultimately led to a suspension of play due to darkness. On Friday, the first round was completed, but play was halted again due to lightning. The players never made it back to the course at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
The second round was suspended with over half of the field needing to complete play. Some golfers have yet to tee off in round two and play will be resumed at 6:45 p.m. (ET) Friday night in a shot-gun format.
David Park fired an 8-under 64 in the second round and is alone in the lead at 13-under-par 131.
Two-time defending champion Thongchai Jaidee rebounded on Friday with a 9-under 63. He is tied for second place with Thammanoon Srirot, who posted a second-round 65, at 12-under-par 132.
Soren Kjeldsen also fired a 63 in round two and is alone in fourth place at minus-11.
Park began on the back nine Friday and wasted little time in breaking into red figures. He birdied the par-5 10th, then birdied No. 13, a hole he bogeyed in the first round.
The Welshman collected more redemption from round one as he birdied 15, another hole that tripped him up earlier in the tournament. Park closed his front nine with back-to-back birdies from the 17th.
Park birdied the par-5 third for the second time in as many rounds. He added a birdie at the next par-5, the fifth, and took sole possession of first place with a birdie at the 182-yard eighth.
'I hit the ball straight and you have to hit the fairways on this course,' said Park, whose only win on the European Tour came at the 1999 European Grand Prix. 'I'm doing that and I am hitting my wedges close.'
Despite the bogey-free round, Park was dissatisfied with some aspects of his play on Friday.
'I had three eight-foot-and-under putts that I missed,' admitted Park, who made the cut in the first four events on the 2006 European Tour docket, but missed the weekend at last week's Johnnie Walker Classic. 'Obviously, I am hitting the ball nicely.'
Jaidee used two spectacular birdie runs in his round to move closer to a third consecutive win at this event. He tallied four birdies in a five-hole span on his front nine, the back side at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, then collected five birdies in six holes on his second side.
'Everything worked well today,' said Jaidee, who became the first player born in Thailand to win on tour when he titled here in 2004. 'The course is very soft and quite easy.'
Srirot mixed four birdies and a single bogey on his opening nine, then registered four birdies on his final nine for his 65.
'I hit really good tee shots and my putting also worked nicely,' admitted Srirot. 'I've been playing okay coming into the tournament and I'm looking forward to the weekend rounds.'
John Bickerton and Charlie Wi carded matching rounds of four-under 68 on Friday and are knotted in fifth place at 10-under-par 134. Keith Horne shot a 5-under 67 and is alone in seventh place at minus-9.
Chinarat Phadungsil posted a 4-under 68 and is in the clubhouse at 8-under-par 136. Thaworn Wiratchant, who was alone in second place after the first round, is 1-under through four holes and 8-under par for the championship.
First-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez struggled badly in the second round. He shot a 5-over 77 and is part of a group tied for 47th place at 3-under-par 141.
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