x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Oosthuizen shoots 62 to share Hong Kong lead

The South African Louis Oosthuizen fired a sizzling eight-under-par 62 to grab a share of the lead at the Hong Kong Open.

HONG KONG // The South African Louis Oosthuizen fired a sizzling eight-under-par 62 to grab a share of the lead after the second round at the US$2.5 million (Dh9.1m) Hong Kong Open. Oosthuizen, 26, carded eight birdies in a near-flawless round to finish a stroke shy of the course record and join the Britons Oliver Wilson & Oliver Fisher, and the Thai Chawalit Plaphol, on an overall total of 132. "Yeah, it was good. I don't want to say it could have been more, but I played well. I hit 17 greens in regulation and I made some putts," Oosthuizen said.

Wilson notched up six birdies on the way to a four-under round of 66, but squandered the outright lead with a bogey on the last. "I was really happy with yesterday, four-under, but today I was little disappointed with bogeying the last," Wilson, 28, said. After losing a play-off to Spain's Sergio Garcia at the US$5m HSBC Champions in Shanghai last week to finish runner-up for the eighth time in his career, Wilson said that he would try to keep the near-misses from his mind over the weekend.

"I won't be walking down the last few holes thinking, oh, I'm going to finish second again, because you will probably finish about fourth or fifth," he said. After carding a patient first-round 68, the eight-time European number one Colin Montgomerie attacked the greens with gusto, dropping a single stroke on the way to a six-birdie 65 to lie a shot off the pace. "I can gain some confidence from that, knowing that I can achieve what I think I can," the Scot said.

Montgomerie, who has dropped out of the world top 100 this year, joined the Swede Johan Edfors, the Australian Marcus Fraser, the round one joint leader Richard Sterne of South Africa and the Italian Francesco Molinari in the clubhouse on 133. Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan and the Indian number one Jeev Milkha Singh lie two strokes off the leaders with the Briton Rory McIlroy on 134. The twice former major champion John Daly, now ranked 788th in the world, remains in striking distance of the leaders two strokes further off the pace in a clutch of players including Bernhard Langer and Thaworn Wiratchant.

The six-time major champion Nick Faldo will miss the weekend's action after carding a scratchy even-par round of 70 to finish on 142, two strokes behind the cut. *Reuters