Friday, November 23, 2018

Two-glove Aaron Rai's course-record 61 gives him
four-shot lead in Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong, November 23: England’s Aaron Rai stole the limelight by breaking the course record with a stunning nine-under-par 61 to strengthen his position atop the leaderboard at the HONMA Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi on Friday.
Rai leads by four over Korea’s Hyowon Park with his two-day total of 14-under-par 126 while Matthew Fitzpatrick of England made his move with a 62 to take third place on his own at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
Despite struggling with his putting, Korea-American Micah Lauren Shin, who finished tied-seventh at the Hong Kong Open last year, renewed his affinity with event by signing for a 67 to take outright fourth place.
2014 Hong Kong Open champion Scott Hend is determined to give Rai a run for his money after the Australian signed for a 66 which placed him in a share of fifth place.
Rai took advantage of the ideal scoring conditions in the morning by firing six birdies in his first nine holes before continuing his spectacular run with another three more in his inward-nine to break the course record by two strokes.
Rai started the day in a three-way tie after opening up with a 65. The 23-year-old reeled off birdies at holes 12, 13, 14 and 15 in his back-nine 11, to move quickly to nine-under.
He picked up further gains on 18 before adding more red numbers on his card with birdies on the first, fourth and sixth holes to complete his stunning day.
The weekend cut was set at one-over-par 141 with 73 players, including Scots  David Drysdale (137), Robert MacIntyre (138), Grant Forrest (138), David Law (140) and  Liam Johnston (140) making it into the final two rounds.
Fellow Scot Simon Yates missed out on 143.
Did you know?-         
Rai is known for wearing two gloves as he feels he cannot control his game if he does not have both of them on.
-          Hyowon Park’s father is a famous hair stylist in Korea. He is often referred to as the son of Edward Scissorhands back home.
-          He won his first professional event at the Jeju Open last month, 11 years after joining the play-for-pay ranks.
-          Micah Lauren Shin won his first Asian Tour title at the Resorts World Manila Masters in 2017.
-          The victory came after he called a ruling on himself and was penalised two strokes on the first hole for having 15 clubs in the bag in the final round.
-          Shin ended his 2017 season on the Asian Tour in 12th place on the Order of Merit and was deservedly named the Asian Tour Rookie of the Year award.
-          Scott Hend became the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit title and the fourth player to surpass US$1 million in earnings during a season in 2016.
-          His last victory on the Asian Tour came at the Queen’s Cup in 2016.
Players’ Quotes
Aaron Rai (Eng) Second round 61 (-9) Total 126 (-14)
We were lucky today with the conditions.  We didn't have much wind, and starting out pretty early the first nine holes, it feels like you're playing a round at home, which is nice.  But yeah, played very well.  Kept it in play.  Had a lot of chances and made a lot of putts, too. Everything was on song today. It started when I was eight years old, so 15 years ago now.  Just happened to be given these two gloves.
The guy who actually makes them sent a pair over and I got into a habit of wearing them. A few weeks down the line, my dad forgot to put the two gloves in the bag and I had to play with one and it was terrible.  Couldn't play; couldn't feel; couldn't feel the grip.  So always stuck with two grips ever since.
  I’ll just try and stay as close to the original game plan as much as possible. I think if you get too conservative and if you try and defend the lead a little bit too much, you can start going backwards very easily, but also you can't get too aggressive around this course.  As hard as it is and as easy as it is to say, you just have to try and stick to what you're doing and what has got you into this position. 
Hyowon Park, Second round  62 (-8), Total 130 (-10)
I'm very happy now.  I played well in my first European Tour tournament. The conditions were tough but I’m glad I did well with my all aspects of my game including my tee shots, irons and putting. I will do same thing on the weekend, so I can go more up the leaderboard. 
Micah Lauren Shin (Usa) Second round 67 (-3) Total 133 (-7)
Actually I’m not really that happy because I wasn't really putting well but I’m still satisfied with the score on this golf course. I just have to keep on playing the same and try to work on my putts and hole some more putts. But having said that, I'm definitely confident on this course.
Scott Hend (Aus) Second round 66 (-4) Total 134 (-6)
I’m just trying to feel how the golf course is and the greens are getting quicker as the week goes.  Now I’ve got to chase down Aaron. I guess he (Aaron) just hasn't made any mistakes as yet and he's obviously putting quite well.  This golf course is about keeping it in the fairway and holing putts.  It's a pretty simple way to play it.  You've just got to hole putts and keep it out of trouble, and I guess he's doing that quite well. I’m always happy to be up there somewhere in the top 15 or top 10 come Saturday, and hopefully you can make a little move on Saturday and be somewhere within reach for the Sunday round.
Round Two Scores
126 A Rai (Eng) 65 61,
130 H Park (SKor) 68 62,
132 M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 70 62,
133 M Shin (USA) 66 67,
134 T Fleetwood (Eng) 69 65, A Da Silva (Brazil) 70 64, S Hend (Australia) 68 66, J Higginbottom (Australia) 69 65, A Quiros (Spn) 68 66, J Scrivener (Australia) 65 69,
135 D Lipsky (USA) 69 66, A Chesters (Eng) 68 67, J Wang (SKor) 68 67,
136 D Boonma (Thailand) 67 69, J Singh Brar (Eng) 66 70, V Perez (Fra) 71 65, Y Liu (China) 68 68, K Koivu (Finland) 69 67, M Kinhult (Swe) 72 64, T Jaidee (Thailand) 68 68, N Colsaerts (Belgium) 68 68,
137 W Ormsby (Australia) 70 67, A Cañizares (Spn) 69 68, S Garcia (Esp) 70 67, N Srithong (Tha) 70 67, S Sharma (India) 69 68, D Drysdale (Sco) 68 69, C O'Toole (USA) 69 68, A Sandhu (Ind) 70 67,
138 T Aiken (SAf) 67 71, D Lawson (Australia) 70 68, J Harding (SAf) 69 69, R Macintyre (Sco) 71 67, B Evans (Eng) 71 67, A Atwal (India) 66 72, G Forrest (Sco) 70 68, M Schwab (Austria) 69 69, S Brazel (Australia) 68 70, H Porteous (SAf) 68 70, B Henson (USA) 68 70, S Kim (USA) 69 69, Y Chang (SKor) 71 67, R Wannasrichan (Thailand) 70 68,
139 L Gagli (Ita) 72 67, Y Miyazato (Jpn) 65 74, K Kitayama (USA) 72 67, A Que (Phi) 71 68, K Joshi (India) 68 71, J Dantorp (Swe) 72 67, T Pilkadaris (Aus) 68 71, J Catlin (USA) 70 69, R Gouveia (Por) 74 65, J Kruyswijk (SAf) 69 70, G Kim (Kor) 71 68,
140 Z Lombard (SAf) 72 68, P Reed (USA) 75 65, D Law (Sco) 71 69, J Todd (USA) 73 67, E Molinari (Ita) 71 69, A Karlsson (Swe) 69 71, L Johnston (Sco) 71 69, N Bertasio (Ita) 73 67, S Fernandez (Spn) 69 71, S Kapur (India 73 67,
141 J Hansen (Den) 72 69, D Chia (Malaysia) 72 69, L Bjerregaard (Den) 73 68, G Bourdy (Fra) 71 70, D Horsey (Eng) 71 70, R Cabrera Bello (Spn) 72 69, V Madappa (Ind) 73 68, C Pigem (Spn) 73 68, M Cheung (am) (HKong) 71 70,
142 M Kawamura (Jpn) 72 70, S Crocker (USA) 76 66, J Kruger (SAf) 75 67, N Elvira (Spn) 72 70, G Fernandez-Castaño (Spn) 73 69, F Zanotti (Paraguay) 73 69, W Lin (Taipei) 69 73, W Lu (Taipei) 71 71, A Arnaus (Spn) 71 71, J Morrison (Eng) 69 73, A Vongvanij (Tha) 71 71, M Jiménez (Spn) 72 70,
143 S Yonghcaroenchai (Thailaned) 73 70, R Khan (India) 75 68, J Singh (India) 72 71, R Lee (Canada) 71 72, S Yates (Sco) 72 71, P Peterson (USA) 73 70, H Ellis (Eng) 74 69, B Xiao (Chn) 75 68, K Samooja (Finland) 74 69, S Brown (Eng) 73 70, V Dubuisson (Fra) 73 70, S Kobayashi (Jpn) 75 68, W Liang (Chn) 73 70, C Bezuidenhout (SAf) 69 74, S Chawrasia (India) 70 73, S Rahman (Bangladesh) 74 69, M Fraser (Australia 72 71,
144 J Pagunsan (Phi) 75 69, A Johnston (Eng) 69 75, M Southgate (Eng) 76 68, R Jacquelin (Fra) 70 74, C Sordet (Fra) 72 72, M Tabuena (Philippines) 74 70,
145 P Uthaipas (Tha) 76 69, J Janewattananond (Tha) 69 76, C S (India) 72 73, C Kumar (India) 71 74, K Horne (SAf) 74 71, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 77 68, L Weber (Fra) 77 68, C Hung (Tpe) 73 72,
146 D Nisbet (Australia) 71 75, J Veerman (USA) 73 73,
147 N Fung (Malaysia) 73 74, S Lam (Hkg) 72 75, A Cheung (HKong) 75 72,
148 T Kaewsiribandit (Tha) 73 75, P Pittayarat (Tha) 77 71,
149 J Norris (Australia) 73 76,
152 P Tangkamolprasert (Tha) 75 77,
153 E Chapman (Eng) 77 76, B Wong (am) (HKong) 79 74,
157 M Kokocinski (Swe) 75 82,
160 J Lai (am) (Hkg) 82 78,
** S Park (SKor) 71 disqualified, J Randhawa (India) 75 RT, C Nirat (Tha) 77 retired




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