Friday, May 03, 2013


TIANJIN, China, May 3 - Finland's Mikko Ilonen, seeking a first victory since winning twice in 2007, fired a record-equalling nine-under-par 63 on Friday to claim a three-shot lead after the second round of the Volvo China Open at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club. 
Ilonen is on 12 under par 132 at the 20 million yuan (U.S. $3.2 million tournament), co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the European Tour, with a pair of more recent winners lurking in the shadows in the form of Australian Brett Rumford and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who both shot 67s.
Overnight leader Robert-Jan Derksen (70) is a shot further back, while defending champion Branden Grace (67) is three under. 
The cut was set at par, eliminating 12-year-old local wonder boy Ye Wocheng who became the youngest player ever to take part in a OneAsia or European Tour event when he teed off on Thursday. He shot two rounds of 79.
Six Scots beat the cut - Richie Ramsay (139),  Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher (both 141) , Peter Whiteford (142) and Scott Jamieson, on the limit mark of 144.
Ilonen, playing the course back-to-front, had a blemish-free-round that included three birdies on his opening nine and six on the way home. He has shot 63 twice before, and his score equalled the course record set by Swede Alexander Noren at the same event last year. 
"I hit the ball better than yesterday. Obviously 69 yesterday was a good score and it was a bit breezier, but I gave myself more chances today -- hit more greens and hit more fairways. It was a very stress-free round today," he said.
He credited a six week spell away from  home during the off season with helping him prepare better for 2013.
"I went away with my family in December to Thailand, to Black Mountain (Golf Course), for five to six weeks before the season started. Compared to a year ago it was a lot of good preparation in a facility where you can hit balls outdoors."
Rumford dedicated his round to caddy, John "Ronnie" Roberts, who marked his 67th birthday on Friday and has overseen something of a renaissance in the Australian's career since taking over his bag in December.
"Each player has their own motivation, I guess, and that varies from day-to-day," said Rumford, who ended a five-year drought with victory in the European Tour's Ballantine's Championship in South Korea last week. 
"It was in my mind at the beginning of the day that it would be nice to shoot 67 on Ronnie's 67th birthday. Tomorrow I'll have to find something different to motivate me."
Kiradech, who won his first European Tour event at the Malaysian Open in March, missed only one green in regulation despite the wind around the long, links-style course, which played to 6,749 metres (7,381 yards) on Friday. 
"My driver has done very well for the first two days," he said.
"I talked to my coach last night and he said I have to keep the ball low, and if you miss, miss on the right side. If you miss on the easy side, you can still get up and down, you can still have a mistake and recover." 
Pre-teen Ye was somewhat overwhelmed by the course's length and the wind, but still found positives from the experience.
"Golf is a hard game to play at this level of competition and on these courses, but I feel I will soon be ready for it," he said. "I’m looking forward to the next time I can play out here." 
His 16-year-old compatriot Dou Zecheng, however, made the cut after shooting level par on Friday to go with his opening round 70.
"I feel great to have achieved that," he said. "Now I will enjoy my game through the weekend. I am not thinking too much about the score, just trying my best and getting more experience."

Par 144 (2x72) Yardage 7,667
132 Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 69-63. 135 Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 68-67, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 68-67.
136 Robert-Jan DERKSEN (NED) 66-70.
137 Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 71-66, Lee SLATTERY (ENG) 69-68.
138 Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 70-68, Graeme STORM (ENG) 70-68.
139 Mark FOSTER (ENG) 70-69, Richie RAMSAY (SCO) 71-68, Paul CASEY (ENG) 71-68, PARK Sang-hyun (KOR) 69-70, Aaron TOWNSEND (AUS) 69-70, Joel SJOHOLM (SWE) 74-65, Damien McGRANE (IRL) 73-66.
140 Joost LUITEN (NED) 73-67, Paul WARING (ENG) 72-68, Soren KJELDSEN (DEN) 72-68, Fabrizio ZANOTTI (PAR) 71-69, LEE Hyung-joon (KOR) 70-70, Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 68-72, Steve WEBSTER (ENG) 73-67.
141 Branden GRACE (RSA) 74-67, Paul LAWRIE (SCO) 69-72, Nick CULLEN (AUS) 72-69, Michael HENDRY (NZL) 74-67, AN Byeong-hun (KOR) 73-68, Matthew BALDWIN (ENG) 70-71, Niclas FASTH (SWE) 73-68, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 71-70, Soren HANSEN (DEN) 72-69, Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 70-71, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 72-69, Richard FINCH (ENG) 71-70, Kristoffer BROBERG (SWE) 74-67.
142 Ricardo SANTOS (POR) 70-72, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 69-73, Markus BRIER (AUT) 71-71, Rafael CABRERA- BELLO (ESP) 72-70, Johan EDFORS (SWE) 73-69, David HOWELL (ENG) 74-68, JB HANSEN (DEN) 73-69, Gregory HAVRET (FRA) 72-70, Andy SULLIVAN (ENG) 74-68, DOU Ze-cheng (am, CHN) 70-72, Peter WHITEFORD (SCO) 73-69.
143 Andrew DODT (AUS) 72-71, Eddie PEPPERELL (ENG) 75-68, HUANG Wen-yi (CHN) 74-69, Richard BLAND (ENG) 72-71, Andreas HARTO (DEN) 72-71, Chris LLOYD (ENG) 71-72, Alexander NOREN (SWE) 70-73, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 70-73, Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 71-72, Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA) 75-68, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 74-69.
144 LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 74-70, Felipe AGUILAR (CHI) 71-73, Emiliano GRILLO (ARG) 73-71, Phillip PRICE (WAL) 76-68, Moritz LAMPERT (GER) 72-72, Garrett SAPP (USA) 70-74, Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 73-71, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 76-68, Magnus A CARLSSON (SWE) 71-73, Estanislao GOYA (ARG) 70-74, Ricardo GONZALEZ (ARG) 73-71.
145 Mark BROWN (NZL) 75-70, Oliver FISHER (ENG) 74-71, Michael WRIGHT (AUS) 75-70, Gary LOCKERBIE (ENG) 76-69, Andre STOLZ (AUS) 74-71, Alvaro QUIROS (ESP) 70-75, Peter EROFEJEFF (FIN) 76-69, HE Shao-cai (CHN) 72-73.
146 RYU Hyun-woo (KOR) 73-73, KIM Dae-sub (KOR) 71-75, HE Ze-Yu (CHN) 75-71, Michael HOEY (NIR) 72-74, Marcus FRASER (AUS) 74-72, Anthony BROWN (AUS) 76-70, SU Dong (CHN) 73-73, Eduardo DE LA RIVA (ESP) 74-72, Scott STRANGE (AUS) 73-73, David DRYSDALE (SCO) 72-74, Simon WAKEFIELD (ENG) 73-73, S S P CHOWRASIA (IND) 70-76, Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 73-73, Lorenzo GAGLI (ITA) 72-74.
147 Fredrik ANDERSSON HED (SWE) 79-68, Rory HIE (INA) 73-74, Jim LIU (am, USA) 77-70, HU Mu (CHN) 74-73, Jean-Baptiste GONNET (FRA) 74-73, Espen KOFSTAD (NOR) 75-72, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 75-72, Gareth MAYBIN (NIR) 76-71, Marc WARREN (SCO) 75-72.
148 WU Ashun (CHN) 77-71, Justin WALTERS (RSA) 72-76, CHOI Ho-sung (KOR) 77-71, ZHANG Xin-jun (CHN) 75-73, JOO Heung-chol (KOR) 72-76, Craig LEE (SCO) 73-75, James MORRISON (ENG) 73-75, Eric MINA (USA) 75-73, ZHOU Guo-wu (CHN) 76-72, ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN) 73-75, Robert COLES (ENG) 76-72.
149 Scott LAYCOCK (AUS) 77-72, John PARRY (ENG) 77-72, Scott HENRY (SCO) 80-69, Alessandro TADINI (ITA) 75-74, Christian CEVAER (FRA) 75-74, Peter LAWRIE (IRL) 75-74.
150 HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE) 74-76, Julien QUESNE (FRA) 71-79, Martin WIEGELE (AUT) 78-72, Jose Manuel LARA (ESP) 73-77, Jamie ARNOLD (AUS) 71-79, Gareth PADDISON (NZL) 75-75.
151 LI Hao-tong (CHN) 76-75, Peter HEDBLOM (SWE) 78-73, KONG Wei-hai (CHN) 72-79, Keith HORNE (RSA) 73-78, YAN Bin (CHN) 70-81, Daniel POPOVIC (AUS) 75-76, Paul McGINLEY (IRL) 76-75, Chris PAISLEY (ENG) 76-75, Maximilian KIEFFER (GER) 78-73.
152 CAO Yi (CHN) 78-74, Akinori TANI (JPN) 75-77, Thomas AIKEN (RSA) 79-73, Maarten LAFEBER (NED) 75-77, JIN Da-xing (CHN) 78-74, JIN Cheng (am, CHN) 77-75, Chris DOAK (SCO) 75-77.
153 FAN Zhi-peng (CHN) 79-74.
155 ZHAO Xiong-yi (CHN) 81-74, YUAN Tian (CHN) 79-76, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 78-77.
157 Ren HAN (CHN) 83-74, WU Wei-huang (CHN) 84-73, LIU Yan-wei (am, CHN) 81-76, Oscar FLOREN (SWE) 78-79, JIA Jun-feng (CHN) 79-78, WU Hong-fu (CHN) 81-76.
158 OUYANG Zheng (CHN) 78-80, BAI Zheng-kai (am, CHN) 83-75, YE Wo-cheng (am, CHN) 79-79, LUO Xue-wen (am, CHN) 80-78.
160 CHEN Zi-hao (am, CHN) 81-79.
161 YUAN Hao (CHN) 80-81.
164 LI Xin-yang (CHN) 83-81.



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