Shanghai - Luke Guthrie admitted being surprised to be four shots ahead of the
field after two rounds of the BMW Masters in Shanghai on Friday, despite
not coming close to repeating his first-day heroics.
23-year-old from Illinois shot a one-under-par 71 after his sparkling 65
on Thursday to maintain a four-shot lead on a second day of cold winds
gusting up to 35 mph across the wide open Lake Malaren layout.
definitely surprised (to be four clear). But I have been playing well
and really hitting it well," Guthrie said after his round.
putter had been red hot on day one of the $7 million European Tour
event as he took just 19 strokes on the greens but it, like the weather,
had cooled considerably on Friday.
"It was another difficult day.
Anything in the red was a good score today," he added. "Had a couple of
bogeys. Always disappointing to bogey the last. But I made some good
Rory McIlroy, the former world number one who was
runner-up at the event last year, found the brutal winds tough but hung
on to the leaders' coat-tails with a level-par 72 to remain at one-under
for the tournament and in a share of 12th place.
again," said McIlroy, who again showed signs of being back to near his
best with an excellent display of driving from the tee.
of holes where I didn't get it up and down like I should have. But I
still haven't done myself much damage," added the 24-year-old from
"Hopefully the weather clears up a bit by the weekend and we can start making more birdies."
Guthrie, no fewer than six players were tied for second at four-under,
including England's Simon Dyson whose second successive round of 70
could have been much better if not for a double-bogey at the final hole.
"I played brilliantly up till then," lamented the Englishman.
on four-under were Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, Argentina's Ricardo
Gonzalez, Scottish pair Craig Lee and Scott Jamieson and England's Paul
"I have putted nicely for two days which has been really
key," said Casey, who has dropped out of the world's top 100 recently,
despite winning the Irish Open this season.
"You're not going to
hit a huge amount of greens out there so you've got to be able to putt,"
he added, after a second successive round of two-under par 70.
said his goal over the last four weeks of the European Tour season was
to win at least one tournament and climb back into the world's top 50,
which would get him into big events in 2014 including the Masters.
50 would be the best golf Christmas present I could have," Casey said.
"But nobody's going to give me it. I've got to go and get it myself."
Irishman Graeme McDowell, who is second in the European Tour Race to
Dubai standings and harbours ambitions of overtaking leader Henrik
Stenson, started the day two under par.
Through 13 holes two birdies and a bogey had moved him up to three-under before the wheels came off.
bogeyed three of the next four holes to slip to a two-over round of 74
and back to level par for the tournament and in a tie for 19th place.
Stenson, who has been troubled by a wrist strain this week, also carded a 74 to finish at two-over par 146.Leading scores on Thursday after two rounds of the European Tour's $7
million BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club, Shanghai (par 72):
136 - Luke Guthrie (USA) 67-71.
- Paul Casey (ENG)70-70, Simon Dyson (ENG) 70-70, Ricardo Gonzalez
(ARG) 73-67, Craig Lee (SCO) 70-70, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 72-68,
Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 70-70.
141 - Rafa Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 73-68.
142 - John Daly (USA) 68-74, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP) 71-71, Brett Rumford (AUS) 73-69.
- Marcus Fraser (AUS) 73-70, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 70-73, Gregory
Bourdy (FRA) 70-73, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 72-71, Ian Poulter (ENG) 74
69, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71-72, Lee Westwood (ENG) 72-71.
Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 75-69, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 72-72, David
Horsey (ENG) 72-72, Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 72-72, Peter Uihlein (USA)
69-75, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 70-74.
146 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 72-74.
151 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 74-77.