‘Zero chance’ of winning: Dominique Boulet laments form, shares second-round lead with Unho Park and Wong Woon-man

Hong Kong player shoots two-over 72 with defending champion Scott Barr in fourth at level par and Anthony Kang a further shot back

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 5:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 10:26pm

Hong Kong’s Dominique Boulet said he had “zero” chance of winning the FTLife HKPGA Championship if he continued to play like he did in the second round, when he shot a two-over 72 to share the lead with four-time winner Unho Park and Wong Woon-man.

The trio are at one-under-par for the championship after an absorbing day at the Hong Kong Golf Club with the top six players separated by only two shots ahead of the final day at Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club on Friday.

Defending champion Scott Barr of Australia finds himself in solo fourth at level par, with three-time Asian Tour winner Anthony Kang a further shot back at one-over.

The 51-year-old Boulet, now a prominent television commentator after spending 13 years on the Asian Tour, wasn’t at his best over his home course on Thursday and continued to downplay his chances of winning a third HKPGA title.

“I hit it solidly early on but I really lost my swing on the back nine,” said Boulet, whose last victory came in 2004. “I hit a couple of really poor chips and played with the handbrake on. I wasn’t very confident at all.

“If I continue hitting it like that I have zero chance, but to be still in there [with a chance] is a bit of a surprise. Tomorrow is another day and I’m looking forward to it. It’s still a lot of fun.”

Australian Park, who won four straight HKPGA titles between 2012 and 2015 before losing out narrowly to Barr last year, relied on two amazing par saves at the last two holes to keep his championship hopes alive.

“I had a bit of everything today, but managed to scrap it around,” said Park, who mixed four front-nine birdies with a double bogey at the fourth after he hit his drive out-of-bounds. “The great up-and-downs I had at 17 and 18 made me enjoy my round a lot more, that’s for sure and helped put me in a decent position for Clearwater Bay tomorrow.”

Former Hong Kong Amateur champion Steven Lam added a 72 to his opening 71 to lie in a tie for seventh in his first tournament outing as a professional, while Shinichi Mizuno, who is also playing in his first event since turning the pro ranks, carded the day’s best round – a one-under 69 to move into a share of ninth.

Wong, 36, meanwhile, said he wouldn’t be fazed by the weight of expectation as he goes in search of his maiden victory.

“I aim to play positively and really focus on my own game; I won’t worry about what the others are doing. Hopefully I can continue to play well, so let’s see.”