x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Lee Westwood 'in total control' of Thailand Golf Championship

The Englishman hits eight birdies in a bogey-free round at Bangkok event to equal the Asian Tour record.

Lee Westwood, the world No 2, continued his sparkling form by shooting an eight-under-par 64 at the Thailand Golf Championship on Friday to tie the lowest 36-hole total at an Asian Tour event.

The Englishman followed up his career-best 12-under-par 60 on Thursday with eight birdies in a bogey-free round to equal the Asian Tour record set by Thailand's Chapchai Nirat at the 2009 Sail Open in India.

Westwood's 124 total gave him a clubhouse lead of 14 shots before the US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel shot a 66 in the afternoon to cut the lead to 11.

"It's 14 now; outrageous isn't it?" Westwood told reporters after his round at the Amata Spring Country Club, 80 kilometres east of Bangkok.

"It's still a long way to go. But at the same time, I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'm playing great and I'm feeling in total control. Every aspect of my game feels good. Strange really. Today almost felt better than yesterday. It was quite tough out there. The scoring is pretty tricky; 64 is a really good score; not that 60 wasn't a good score yesterday.

"I hit a lot of good shots again and hit it close. [I am] delighted with two days' work."

Westwood said he would have no change in his approach over the weekend as he tried to close out the win at the US$1 million (Dh3.67m) inaugural tournament and claim a third success in Asia this year after his victories at the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea and the Indonesian Masters.

"I'll still try to play the same and try to win the tournament. I'll try to keep the lead irrelevant and keep on playing as I've been playing. I'm playing pretty well and I want to maintain that and keep making birdies and no bogeys."