Sergio Garcia of Spain and Charlie Wi of Korea have leader Lin Wen-tang in their sights at the US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open after completing the second round this morning.
World No 12 Garcia birdied the closing two holes for a three-under-par 68 while Wi, who shot a sparkling 62 in the first round, returned with a 72, thanks to one eagle and two birdies in his last five holes. They are currently tied on eight-under-par 134 and trail Lin of Chinese Taipei, who finished his round on Friday, by two shots at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip. Officials suspended play yesterday due to darkness. A total of 58 players returned at 6.30am to complete their rounds.
Himmat Rai (69) of India, reigning Order of Merit winner David Lipsky (70) of the United States, Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung (70) and Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant (71) and Chawalit Plaphol (67) shared fourth place on 135, three shots back from the lead.
Garcia struggled when he returned to the 13th hole but recovered nicely to stay in the title hunt. “I didn’t hit the ball well this morning. I hit a couple of better shots coming in. My first three holes weren’t very good. At least it was a good way to finish the round after three-putting for par on 16. I need to play better this afternoon to be up there.”
Korea’s Wi endured a disappointing first nine where he turned in 40 in windy conditions on Friday but took advantage of the calmer morning as he eagled the fifth hole from 15 feet and added two birdies on seven and nine.
“Yesterday was so difficult. I hit it very well from tee to green but it was so difficult to putt. I did a lot of damage yesterday but I was able to come out and take advantage of the course conditions this morning,” said Wi.
Thaworn, a two-time Asian Tour number one, bogeyed the last hole but he remains within striking distance. “The 18th hole was playing slightly long for me but that’s okay. I played nicely and I’m in a good position. It will be a good weekend for me,” said the Thai, who turns 49 later this month.
Fung meanwhile kept himself in contention for his first Asian Tour title with a gutsy display, returning to the course this morning to play his second nine in two-under-par and is just three shots off the pace. Gavin Green made the cut on the bubble while an unfortunate Danny Chia missed the weekend after a second round 78.
Round 2 Scores (par 71)
132 – LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 65-67
134 – Charlie WI (KOR) 62-72, Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 66-68
135 – Himmat RAI (IND) 66-69, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 64-71, David LIPSKY (USA) 65-70, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 68-67, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 65-70
136 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 66-70, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 69-67