Friday, November 01, 2013


Big-hitting American Dustin Johnson gave a driving masterclass with course record-equalling  nine under par 63 at Sheshan International Golf Club to open up a five stroke lead at the halfway stage of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Johnson posted ten birdies – including six in the first seven holes – against one bogey, tying the course record shared by Daisuke Maruyama, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els (all 2009), Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer (both 2011).
At 12 under par 132, the Ryder Cup player is five shots clear of compatriots Bubba Watson (69), Boo Weekley (67) and first round leader Rory McIlroy, who carded three birdies before the turn followed by three bogeys on the back nine in a level par round of 72.
  “I'm definitely happy where I'm at,” said Johnson. “I’ve played really well the last two days - I've really driven the ball well.
“For me, that's a big key. I drove it well today and I hit a lot of good iron shots, and I think it's tough to get it really close to these holes, but I made a lot of nice ten-15 footers today.”

Asked about his plan for the weekend, given his healthy advantage, Johnson added: “I don't tend to play defensively.

“I just play my game and I play pretty aggressive. That's my game, so tomorrow I'm going to go out and try to do the same thing I did today. I didn't play really aggressive today, I just took what the golf course gave me and just tried to hit quality golf shots to give myself looks at birdies.”
After opening with a superb 65 on Thursday and birdies on the sixth, seventh and eighth holes in round two, McIlroy faltered on the way in, dropping a shot on the 11th for the second consecutive day then bogeying the 15th, before finding the water on the 18th to concede  another shot.
Having seen his tee shot leak right and finish a yard from the water on the last, the undeterred 24 year old went for the green in two at the par five but only succeeded in finding the lake.
After taking a drop, McIlroy fired a spectacular fourth to ten feet, but missed the putt for a third bogey of the day and level par 72.
“It was disappointing and frustrating today,” said McIlroy.  “Obviously I played nicely the front nine and then started to hit a lot of sloppy shots on the back.  I missed the last six greens in a row and missed seven greens on the back nine, so there is a bit of work needed on the range this afternoon.”
Despite his obvious frustrations, the former World Number One remained optimistic about his chances of capturing his first victory of 2013.
“I'm in a decent position going into the weekend, and still have a great chance at winning this tournament,” he said.
Six European Tour members are a shot further back in tied fifth place on six under par, with defending champion Ian Poulter (67) joined by last week’s BMW Masters winner Gonzalo  Fernandez-Castaño (71), Sergio Garcia (68), Ernie Els (69), Tommy Fleetwood (70) and Graeme McDowell (69).

Par 144 (2x72) Yardage: 7,266
132 Dustin JOHNSON (USA) 69-63.
137 Bubba WATSON (USA) 68-69, Boo WEEKLEY (USA) 70-67, Rory MCILROY (NIR) 65-72.
138 Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-70, Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 70-68, Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTANO (ESP) 67-71, Ernie ELS (RSA) 69-69, Graeme MCDOWELL (NIR) 69-69, Ian POULTER (ENG) 71-67.
139 Jin JEONG (SKOR) 70-69, LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 72-67, Phil MICKELSON (USA) 71-68, Justin ROSE (ENG) 68-71, Keegan BRADLEY (USA) 71-68, Graham DELAET (CAN) 71-68, Jordan SPIETH (USA) 68-71.
140 Billy HORSCHEL (USA) 71-69, Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 70-70, Jason DUFNER (USA) 73-67, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 69-71, Mark BROWN (NZL) 72-68.
141 Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 72-69, Luke DONALD (ENG) 70-71, Francesco MOLINARI (ITA) 72-69, Jamie DONALDSON (WAL) 67-74.
142 Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 72-70, Chris WOOD (ENG) 71-71, Paul CASEY (ENG) 69-73, Ken DUKE (USA) 70-72.
143 Kevin STREELMAN (USA) 70-73, Peter HANSON (SWE) 70-73, Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 75-68, Brian GAY (USA) 71-72, LI Hao Tong (CHN) 72-71, Scott HEND (AUS) 69-74, Derek ERNST (USA) 71-72.
144 David LYNN (ENG) 74-70, Rickie FOWLER (USA) 74-70, Darren FICHARDT (RSA) 70-74, Bill HAAS (USA) 72-72, Martin KAYMER (GER) 70-74, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 76-68, Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 71-73, Ryan MOORE (USA) 70-74, Bo VAN PELT (USA) 77-67, Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 71-73, HUANG WenYi (CHN) 70-74.
145 Hiroyuki FUJITA (JPN) 75-70, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 73-72, Jonas BLIXT (SWE) 70-75, Michael HENDRY (NZL) 72-73, Scott PIERCY (USA) 72-73, Jaco VAN ZYL (RSA) 72-73.
146 D A POINTS (USA) 72-74, Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 73-73, Michael THOMPSON (USA) 74-72, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 74-72, Jimmy WALKER (USA) 73-73.
147 John MERRICK (USA) 72-75, Richard STERNE (RSA) 74-73, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 69-78, David HOWELL (ENG) 72-75, Brandt SNEDEKER (USA) 73-74.
148 Daniel POPOVIC (AUS) 77-71, Branden GRACE (RSA) 77-71.
149 WU Ashun (CHN) 74-75, Nick WATNEY (USA) 75-74, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 81-68.
150 Henrik STENSON (SWE) 74-76.
151 Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 81-70, Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 75-76, HU Mu (CHN) 76-75.
152 Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 75-77, George COETZEE (RSA) 75-77.
153 Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN) 81-72.
160 HUANG Ming-Jie (CHN) 83-77.



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