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
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
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
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.