Golf

Westwood leads by 11 strokes

2011-12-16 13:30
Lee Westwood (AP)

Bangkok - Lee Westwood put on another dazzling display at the $1 million Thailand Golf Championship on Friday to finish the second round on 20 under par, creating a commanding 11-stroke lead.

The English world number three followed up his stunning opening day 60 on the par-72 Amata Spring Country Club course with another impressive eight-under 64 to leave the rest of the field reeling in his wake.

His score matches the 36-hole Asian Tour record held by Chapchai Nirat of Thailand.

In joint second place are Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and American Michael Thompson who both shot six-under 66.

Westwood raced away from the opening day's closest challenger John Daly who could only manage a 73 in Friday's windier conditions, to slip to fourth place.

Westwood admitted it was a "strange feeling" being so far ahead of the field. "It's the biggest lead that I've ever had. It's outrageous."

He said conditions in the second round were more difficult than the first day.

"There was quite a strong breeze and 64 is a really good score. I'm delighted with the two days' work."

Despite his huge lead, Westwood was not getting carried away. "I just want to carry on the way I'm playing. I am really looking forward to the weekend."

After his round Westwood headed for the gym. "One reason I'm playing well is because I am much fitter," he said.

Schwartzel was pleased with his round despite being a long way behind Westwood.

"I played really good golf. It was tough out there with the wind blowing."

The South African praised Westwood's performance.

"I feel like Lee is playing his own tournament and we are playing something else. I still think I have a very outside chance, but I need a 14-under weekend to have a real sniff. It's difficult to chase 11 shots."

Thompson, a PGA Tour rookie, was overjoyed at being in the mix.

"I'm feeling great," he said. "I'll get to play with two great players. It will be exciting."

Thompson said he would not be overawed by playing in the final group despite his lack of experience.

"I'm not going to be a pushover. I'm looking forward to it."

Daly was disappointed with his round after a promising opening day of 65.

"I just didn't make any putts," he said. "It's frustrating when you are hitting it good, but not sinking those putts."

He accepted that he has no chance of winning the tournament: "Playing for second is all I can do. No one is going to catch him (Westwood)."

Three stars, Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Spain's Sergio Garcia all narrowly made the cut, which was set at three-over par 147.

In the opening round Garcia threw a club in the lake in frustration at his erratic play.

There was disappointment for local fans when Thailand's top player, Thongchai Jaidee pulled out on the 13th hole with a painful back injury.

The leading Thai player is Prom Meesawat in joint 11th place.

Leading scores after the second round at the $1 million Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Spring Country Club Friday.

124 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 60-64

135 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 69-66, Michael Thompson 69-66

138 - John Daly (US) 65-73

139 - Kenichi Kuboya (JAP) 72-67, Simon Dyson (ENG) 69-70, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 70- 69, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 68-71, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 71-68, Miles Tunnicliff (ENG) 70-69

140 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-68, Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 69-71, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 71-69, Lu Chien-soon 69-71

141 - Daisuke Maruyama (JAP) 73-68, Charley Hoffman (US) 71-70, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 72-69, Frankie Minoza (PHI) 72-69, Thaworn Wiratchant 68-73

142 - Alex Cejka (GER) 71-71, Jonathan Moore (USA) 73-69, Panuwat Muenlek (THA) 70-72

143 - Scott Hend (AUS) 69-74, Scott Barr (Aus) 72-71, Tetsuji Hiratsuka 71-72, Lam Zqun (SIN) 70-73, Quincy Quek (SIN) 74-69, Park Hyun-Bin 71-72, Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 72-71, Kim Kyung-tae (KOR) 73-70

Selected scores:

147- Ryo Ishikawa (JAP) 70-77, Darren Clarke (NIR) 71-76, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 76-71

Thongchai Jaidee (Thai) RTD

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