Friday, November 06, 2015

Russell Knox only two behind at halfway

Kisner takes two-shot lead from Russell Knox

 Classy Kisner edges clear in Shanghai
American Kevin Kisner opened up a two shot lead at the halfway mark of the WGC-HSBC Champions courtesy of a bogey-free six under par round of 66 in Shanghai, with Scotland’s Russell Knox and South African Branden Grace also well placed going into the weekend.
Kisner, who is making his debut in the tournament, picked up two shots over the last three holes at Sheshan International Golf Club to add to the four birdies he gained on the front nine as he moved to 14 under par and past Knox at the top of the leaderboard.
After gaining a late spot in the field having been seventh reserve, Knox is making the most of his unexpected opportunity, setting the clubhouse target on 12 under par with a flawless seven under par round of 65 before being overtaken by Kisner.
First round leader Grace is a further two shots back in third place on ten under par after his one under par round of 71, with American Patrick Reed (70) and China’s Li Hao-tong (69) sharing fourth place on nine under par.
Four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy, whose preparation for the tournament was hampered by food poisoning earlier this week, was unable to make any progress, signing for a level par round of 72 to remain on four under par, ten shots back and in a share of 27th position.

Key player quotes

Kevin Kisner, 66 (-14 total):
“It’s beyond my expectations. I had no expectations coming in, so it’s been good. I’m making a lot of putts and that’s fun keeping the round going when I miss a green. I’m looking forward to the weekend.
“It is tough to get it in the fairway. Every hole seems to be a crosswind, especially on that back nine. Trying to get the angle of the fairway with the crosswind is difficult and the rough is up, but when I missed them, I made par and when I hit them I made some birdies. Hopefully I can keep that game plan going this weekend.”
Russell Knox, 65 (-12 total):          
“I played nicely in Malaysia last week and getting in here was obviously a bonus. I found out on Friday via e-mail when they said there was a chance I could get in. My wife was a superstar and she filled out all the forms for us, and while we were playing on Friday, she took all the stuff to the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur and had all the stuff processed. Then we had to wait around until Monday at 2pm to get them back and they gave us our passports. Then we flew here on Tuesday morning here.”

Branden Grace, 71 (-10 total)

“It was tough out there. The wind was blowing. It’s hard, as most of these holes are tree-lined, so it’s tough to really trust the wind. I think that’s one of the things I struggled with on the back nine. I played pretty well through ten holes and didn’t really make mistakes, but maybe lost a little bit of concentration and then you’re going to let a couple slip out there. But I’m still up there. It would’ve been nice for a couple of putts to go in towards the end, but I think I’m only a few back. It’s still I long weekend ahead.”
Rory McIlroy, 72 (-4 total):
“I didn’t play very well today. I was just a bit flat out there. I’ve left myself a lot to do over the weekend, but hopefully I can shoot a couple of good scores and get myself back up the leaderboard. I wouldn't say I’m 100 per cent. I struggled to hit balls today on the range, got a few cramps in the stomach. But I took a couple of tablets and it sort of went away as I went through the round. I’m still not 100 per cent, but I’m getting there.”


Par 144 (2x72)
130 K Kisner (USA) 64 66,
 132 R Knox (Sco) 67 65,
 134 B Grace  (RSA) 63 71,
 135 P Reed (USA) 65 70, L Haotong (Chn) 66 69,
 136 B Wiesberger  (Aut) 70 66, H Mahan  (USA) 68 68, D Johnson (USA) 65 71,
 137 B An (Kor) 69 68, L Oosthuizen  (RSA) 68 69, M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 68 69, S Hend (Aus) 68 69,
 138 R Fisher (Eng) 69 69, S Garcia  (Esp) 68 70, H English (USA) 67 71, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 67 71, T Olesen (Den) 64 74, T Pieters  (Bel) 67 71,
 139 D Willett  (Eng) 65 74, S Bowditch (Aus) 64 75, Z Xinjun (Chn) 67 72, J Morrison  (Eng) 69 70, D Berger (USA) 68 71, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 69 70, P Casey  (Eng) 67 72, S Kjeldsen (Den) 68 71,
 140 T Jaidee (Tha) 72 68, M Kaymer (Ger) 69 71, J Spieth  (USA) 68 72, C Schwartzel  (RSA) 68 72, G Woodland (USA) 69 71, R Lee (Can) 68 72, E Grillo (Arg) 69 71, R Fowler  (USA) 68 72, R McIlroy  (Nir) 68 72, L Donald  (Eng) 71 69,
 141 D Zecheng (Chn) 70 71, S Chawrasia (Ind) 69 72, T Aiken (RSA) 70 71, J Thomas (USA) 72 69, M Leishman (Aus) 69 72, L Westwood (Eng) 72 69, H Stenson (Swe) 69 72, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 67 74, D Howell (Eng) 73 68, B Watson (USA) 68 73,
 142 D Lingmerth (Swe) 70 72, D Summerhays (USA) 68 74, R Streb (USA) 73 69,
 143 W Ashun (Chn) 69 74, S Piercy (USA) 70 73, I Poulter (Eng) 72 71,
 144 H Matsuyama  (Jpn) 71 73, A Sullivan (Eng) 70 74, K Na (USA) 72 72, L Wenchong (Chn) 71 73, C Wood  (Eng) 68 76, C Smith (Aus) 71 73, M Jones (Aus) 74 70, D Lee  (Nzl) 71 73,
 145 K Kim (Kor) 74 71, A Lahiri (Ind) 70 75, N Cullen (Aus) 74 71, D Chia (Mas) 72 73, M Jiménez (Esp) 73 72,
 146 A Noren  (Swe) 70 76, G Chalmers (Aus) 73 73, T Hatton (Eng) 70 76,
 147 H Iwata (Jpn) 70 77,

148 C Yi (Chn) 70 78,
 149 M Warren (Sco) 75 74, S Lowry  (Irl) 74 75,
 150 A Dodt (Aus) 70 80, C Kirk (USA) 71 79, D Van Tonder  (RSA) 77 73, S Kodaira (Jpn) 74 76,
 151 A Scott  (Aus) 75 76,
 154 S Jeffress (Aus) 76 78,




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