European Tour

Westwood joins lead at Perth

2018-02-09 13:44
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Perth - Former world number one Lee Westwood and defending champion Brett Rumford continued to lead the way at the $1.75m Handa Super 6 in Perth on Friday. 

The pair will play together for a third day in a row on Saturday after sharing the lead at the end of the second round at eight under. 

They were one stroke ahead of four players on seven under - Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, Australian Lucas Herbert, Scotland's Grant Forrest and Thailand's Prom Meesawat. 

Meesawat was joint leader until the 18th, which he bogeyed. 

In challenging conditions Westwood shot a two-under 70 to join Rumford, who couldn't replicate his first round of 64 and shot 72, in the lead. 

The Brit, who chipped in on the fourth and sixth holes, said the wind made low scoring difficult. 

"I know the wind can really pick up in Perth, but you don't expect it to blow quite as strong as it's blown today and it was tricky out there," Westwood said. 

"You really have to have your wits about you." 

The unique tri-sanctioned European Tour tournament sees the top 24 after the first three rounds of strokeplay undertake match play on the final day to decide the winner. 

The top eight qualifiers have a bye in the first round of match play on Sunday. 

Rumford, who led by five strokes at the end of qualifying last year, held a two-stroke lead after 14 holes, but Westwood joined him with an eagle on the 15th. 

A Rumford bogey on the 17th handed the Brit the lead, only for Westwood to also drop a stroke after missing a 2m putt on the last hole. 

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat started brilliantly as one of the early groups on the course and briefly held the lead when he moved to nine under. 

However, four bogeys in a row on the back nine saw him drop back to finish at five under. 

Aphibarnrat's countryman Pavit Tangkamolprasert provided the day's highlight with a hole-in-one on the 17th on his way to being three under. 

Local amateur Minn Woo Lee is also well-placed to reach the final day, the 19-year-old shooting 70 to be five under. 

However, two of the biggest names in the tournament failed to make the cut. 

The 2016 US Masters champion Danny Willett was unable to recover from his opening round 76 and shot a 75 on day two to finish seven over as his recent form woes continued, missing his third successive cut.

 

Fellow Englishman Andrew 'Beef' Johnston also struggled in the warm conditions, the world number 161 shooting a 76 on the second day to be five over.

 

Johnston started the tournament with an eagle on the first hole and barely fired a shot from there, his fate sealed when he had four bogeys in five holes on Friday.

Read more on:    handa world super 6  |  lee westwood  |  golf
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