SINGAPORE — Briton James Morrison enjoyed the best of the conditions at a rain-hit Singapore Open on Friday, the joint overnight leader firing a secondround 3-under 68 to move two shots clear of the field.
Morrison, tied with Italy’s Edorado Molinari on nine under par after the first round, had completed 14 holes of his second round on the more difficult Serapong Course before a weather delay forced the players off the course for almost three hours. The 26-year-old returned to par the next three holes before a beautiful approach shot on the par-5 18th hole set up a tap-in birdie to send him into the clubhouse on 12-under for the US$6 million tournament, being played over two courses. “It was a perfect number really, 100 yards to the flag and with a sand wedge from the fairway it looked like it was about to go in, but I will take a four,” Morrison told reporters of his approach at the last. “It’s definitely harder than the other course,” he added. “More demanding tee shots and a well-designed course, so overall I had a good day. Filipino Juvic Pagunsan surged up the leaderboard with a secondstraight 5-under 66 to sit two adrift of Morrison and one ahead of Molinari, three holes into his second round, and Dane Anders Hansen, who fired a bogey-free, 7-under 64. Morrison set the foundation for his low score on the easier Tanjong Course on Thursday but with the final 36 holes being played on Serapong, the Briton will be delighted to have offset two dropped shots with a bogey-free, 4-under inward nine. “I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday but did enough to get round and I finished strongly,” Morrison added. “Four under for the back nine is very good here. “I enjoy leading. It’s what you play for. You play to win, to be in contention and to even be interviewed. If you don’t enjoy that then there’s no point in playing. I love doing all that so looking forward to the weekend.” Pagunsan put his improved display down to some minor adjustments he had made off the course that has had a positive effect on his performance on it in recent weeks. “I have a stronger mentality now and focus on my game more. My concentration has improved and so has my fitness,” the Filipino said. “Your mental game is stronger when you are fresher. I jog a bit and play some friendly games of basketball to keep in shape.” Further down the leaderboard, Briton Justin Rose, American Anthony Kim and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen were all making major moves into the top 10 with low scores on the Tanjong Course with a handful of holes remaining in their rounds.
Tournament drawcards Graeme McDowell (three-under with two holes to play) and Phil Mickelson (even par after three holes) are both struggling to qualify for weekend play with the halfway cut projected at three-under par.