Chawrasia Extends Lead After 36 Holes in Hong Kong

SSP Chawrasia posted a second-round 4-under par 66 to extend his lead to two strokes at the UBS Hong Kong Open.

The 39-year old, who has recorded all four of his European Tour titles in his native country of India, will head into the weekend at the Hong Kong Golf Club at 9-under 131, and in search of title No. 1 on foreign soil.

Chawrasia once again overcame strong early-morning winds to turn at 3-under 31. Two more birdies on Nos. 10 and 13 had the Indian 5 under on the day, but a three-putt bogey on 14 dropped him back to 4 under, and a two stroke advantage after 36 holes.

“It’s a great round today,” said Chawrasia. “I was five under at one time and then three-putted number 14 but, still, it’s a good score four under – I’m happy.”

South African Thomas Aiken fired a bogey-free 6-under 64, highlighted by late birdies on 16 and 17 to reach 7 under, and sole possession of second place.

“There’s a lot of golf left, we’re only halfway there. But just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully the putts keep going in and make a few extra ones and hopefully at the top of the leaderboard by Sunday afternoon,” said Aiken. “It’s always nice to go bogey-free, especially on a golf course (not) as friendly as this one.”

A group of four are tied for third at 5 under, including American Julian Suri (67) and Thai Poom Saksansin (68), along with a pair of Swedes in Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergrene, who posted matching 66s.

2017 Race to Dubai champion, Tommy Fleetwood, carded a second-consecutive 68 to remain in the mix at 4 under, alongside a group of seven others tied for seventh.

Justin Rose (69) and Rafa Cabrera Bello (68) headline a group of seven more at 3 under.


TOP 10: ROUND TWO

1 S.s.p Chawrasia -9
2 Thomas Aiken -7
3 Julian Suri -5
3 Poom Saksansin -5
3 Alexander Björk -5
3 Joakim Lagergrene -5
7 Seven players tied at -4


KEY HOLE

Chawrasia turned at 3 under 31 and immediately birdied No. 10 to get to four under.


QUOTABLE

“I’m just following my game. Same thing I’m playing the last two days, exactly the same strategy. Obviously I’m under pressure a little bit, pressure is always tough so I can manage, hopefully, the next two days.”
SSP Chawrasia


Credits: European Tour Media


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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