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  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:27pm

Hong Kong Open

The Hong Kong Open is the oldest professional sporting event in Hong Kong and in 2013 celebrates its 55th anniversary. The winner of the 2012 edition was Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez.

SportHong Kong

Jbe Kruger storms into lead after day two of Hong Kong Open

South African says he was inspired by Nelson Mandela and God at Fanling

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 December, 2013, 10:54am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 December, 2013, 11:47am

 

5:15 - End of day's play  

Alright, that's everybody safely home into the clubhouse, so let's wrap this bad boy up. 

South African Jbe Kruger had a sensational six-birdie back nine to lead the way heading into the weekend at the Hong Kong Open, saying he felt inspired by God after waking to hear Nelson Mandela had died.

But there's a large chasing pack: Wales' Stuart Manley had his second consecutive 67 to lie one shot further back and veteran German Alex Cjeka, India's Shiv Kapur and Australia's Wade Ormsby are on -5. 

Nine players are on -4, and almost anyone in the top 39 (all the way to -2) is in with a chance over the weekend, with the weather expected to be benign again and no-one having yet torn up the course.

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez looked set to do that after starting tremendously, but a late fade-away saw him slip to -3, still in contention to retain his title.

Missing the cut was much-vaunted Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang, clearly finding Fanling a tougher proposition than Augusta National at the Masters. 

He was in good company though, with major winner and playing partner John Daly, plus China's number one Liang Wenchong, also heading home.

It wasn't a great couple of days for local, or mainland golfers. Huang Wen-yi was the only mainland player to make the cut and Timothy Tang was the only HK player. 

It's all set up nicely for an intriguing weekend, so get your South China Morning Post tomorrow for in-depth analysis, and tune in here again tomorrow. 

Cheers!

Day 2 Leaderboard

 

4:30

Kruger: -7

Kapur, Manley: -6

Cejka, Kataoka, Ormsby: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Meesawat, Makitalo: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

 

Jbe Kruger has just been speaking about his phenomenal back nine - six birdies, including four in a row, for a 29 30. He will almost certainly lead going into day 3 unless Shiv Kapur or Daisuke Kataoka put on a late charge.

But of course, as the only South African in the field, Kruger was also asked his thoughts on today's big news. 

Wearing a black ribbon for Mandela, and a What Would Jesus Do? bracelet, the committed Christian had this to say:

Jbe Kruger (67-66 -7): I think it was always coming, he's been in hospital for a while, but it's a very sad day. We've lost a real-life hero ... wearing this [ribbon] is an honour ... to be able to turn the other cheek like that. 

[As for the golf] I think God took care of that. I probably swung it the best I have in a long time ... on the back nine to make putts like that you have to know it's in God's hands, all the glory goes to him. 

 

4:30

Kruger: -7

Manley: -6

Cejka, Kataoka, Ormsby: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Meesawat, Kapur Makitalo: -4

Projected Cut: +1

 

Jbe Kruger doin' it for South Africa today, he's birdied 17 to go one clear at -7. That's six birdies in eight holes on a scorching back nine. 

Stuart Manley's finished on 67 after bogeying the 10th, his last. 

Meanwhile, Prom Meesawat finished on -4 after bogeying the last, a little disappointing after a great start, and we've just watched Guan hole out on the 18th green to a big cheer, despite another bogey. He's +6 for his weekend and maybe it's time to concentrate on junior tournaments for a while.

Guan Tianlang (71-75 +6): I think I hit a lot of good shots despite the score so I enjoyed it. Playing in these big events is great opportunity for me. We still haven't decided what's next ... but I hope to come back to the Hong Kong Open next year

Prom Meesawat (66-70 -4): I had a great start but a lot of bad putts on the back nine. Not too bad though, I'm still in it

 

 

3:45

Manley: -6

Cejka, Meesawat, Kruger, Kataoka, Ormsby: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Karlsberg, Makitalo, Dodt: -4

Projected Cut: +1

 

Manley falls just short of another birdie to stretch his lead on the eighth. Jbe Kruger is on fire, four birdies in a row, the latest on 15 with a lovely 10ft birdie putt to take him to -5. 

Guan, though, is heading home. Poor iron shot pushed left of the 16th green, not a great bunker shot on the way back, then a two-putt for bogey. He's +5 with two par-4s left. 

3:30

Manley: -6

Cejka, Meesawat, Kataoka, Makitalo: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Ormsby, Kruger, Dodt: -4

Projected Cut: +1

 

MOVEMENT! WE HAVE MOVEMENT! 

Well ... a little. Meesawat bogies 15 as Manley birdies 6 and the pair swap places. Fin Makitalo's birdied 17 to join Cejka, Meesawat and Katoaka, who's just had his fourth birdie of the day, on five under. 

I'd like to give a bit more detail, but the media centre screens have been screening repeats of 2012 and this morning's action for the last four hours. Thankfully we're now back live. 

In other news about 60 primary school children are in the media centre, for some reason. The average IQ in here has just sky-rocketed as a consequence.

Guan needs to birdie his last three holes to stay in, unlikely. 

 

3:00

Meesawat: -6

Cejka,, Manley: -5

Kataoka, Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Ormsby, Makitalo: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

Wales' Stuart Manley, one under for his front nine, has just birdied No.4 to join Cejka on -5 - Kataoka has bogied the first to join the -4 crowd. Meesawat seems to have, if not quite gone off the boil, settled to a slow simmer with pars for the first four on his back nine. He has five holes left to stretch his lead. 

Hong Kong's Timothy Tang is one under for the day, par overall, and at the moment is the only local player making the cut. The mainland's Huang Wen-yi is on a knife-edge (currently +1), and Taiwan's Lin Wen-tang is safe, in the clubhouse at -2.

Meanwhile, there's a video interview here with Miguel Angel Jimenez if you're desperate to learn more about how he felt his round went. 

 

 

2:30

Meesawat: -6

Cejka, Kataoka: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Manley, Sjoholm, Makitalo: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

Not a lot happening at the moment here in Fanling. Guan's parred the 10th as he begins his back nine but that won't be enough, he needs to start making birdies fast. Meesawat's still just out in front.

Kataoka's had three birdies in his first seven holes and has joined Cejka on -5. The group at -4 has got bigger as Stuart Manley, Joel Sjoholm and Jaaki Makitalo join it.

Hong Kong's Jason Hak Shun-yat has pulled one back but is still at +3 after six and in danger of missing the cut

More crowds here today, but still a long way from the 'good old days'. Sponsors Amundi say they will likely be back, but just at the same level as this year - event will still have to find a title sponsor to get back to levels of recent years

Meanwhile, players have been told they can wear black ribbons tomorrow to honour Nelson Mandela. There is only one South African in the field, Jbe Kruger

1:50

Meesawat: -6

Cejka: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Kataoka: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Guan Tianlang's gone bogey-bogey-bogey, on six, seven, eight and is facing a real battle to make the cut now. Real pity if he doesn't last into the weekend. Meanwhile, Meesawat has dropped his first shot of the day for an outward half of 32. 

Daisuke Kataoka of Japan has joined the group on four under after birdies on 13 and 14, his third and fourth holes.

 

1:30pm

Meesawat: -7

Cejka: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

 

Thailand's 'Big Dolphin' is going pure Free Willy at the moment, his third birdie from seven holes to open a gap on Alex Cejka. Meesawat hasn't won since 2006, but has come close in recent weeks and is in good form. 

Here's some quotes from Cejka and Angelo Que. More here if you just can't get enough

Alex Cejka (68-67, -5): It’s a good feeling.  I had a couple months off now, so it’s nice to come back and grind it out.

It was a little bit tricky with the wind today but I still managed to hit much better shots. I made some bad club choices, but you know what, when I see myself up there on the leaderboard, I’ll take it no matter what

 

Angelo Que (69-67 -4): Making five birdies in a roll on this course is pretty amazing. I haven’t done that in a while. I’m still up there and still pretty close.

 

1:15pm

Meesawat: -6

Cejka: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

 

Commentator's eye: Guan Tianlang has just bogeyed No 6 to go to +2. He's set to miss the cut as it stands unless he starts firing. In fact, no Chinese players are going to make the cut as it stands. Two Hong Kong players, Steven Lam and Timothy Tang, are in just now - but they haven't started their second rounds yet. 

1pm

Meesawat: -6

Cejka: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

 

Not much change at the top of the board, Meesawat still out on his own with two birdies and three pars from his first five. 

Guan Tianlang has gone solid as a rock over his opening five, par-par-par-par-par, but the 15-year-old needs to start bringing the birdies if he's to give the press pack what they want, a teenage winner. 

Meanwhile, the plates of spag-bol count is 2, and I think I'm spent til the egg sandwiches come out.

 

12:40

Meesawat: -6

Cejka: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Dodt: -4

Projected Cut: +1

Full leaderboard

 

Prom Meesawat's taken the outright lead after a birdie on No 4, his second of the day.

Just been speaking to Miguel Angel Jimenez, understandably disappointed after ending his round with consecutive bogies, having not dropped a shot until his 13th hole.

Miguel Angel Jimenez (70-67, -3) Very disappointed with the final holes, I played very well the first nine holes, five under for the first eight. 

The course is not easy to play, you have to be very precise

 

Meanwhile, Liang Wenchong, who looks like missing the cut, says he's been struggling with a wrist injury that held him back

12:15

Cejka, Meesawat: -5

Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Dodt: -4

Projected Cut: Par

Full leaderboard

 

Jimenez finishes bogey-bogey after three-putting his last. Put his second shot left on the green. Looks like Liang Wenchong is going to miss the cut after he finishes with another 71 for +2. 

Guan Tianlang has started his second round, with a par.

 

12:00

Cejka, Meesawat: -5

Jimenez, Kofstad, Que, Derksen, Doak, Dodt: -4

Projected Cut: Par

Full leaderboard

 

Alex Cejka was briefly outright leader on -5 after Jimenez hit his 2nd bogey of the day. Prom Meesawat has birdied his first to join him.

Jimenez got in trouble on his penultimate hole, the ninth. He pushed his second shot right off the green, somehow avoiding the culvert, and just managed to find the fringe with his third shot before missing a tough par putt.

 

Meanwhile, I've belatedly noticed the best round of the day so far is from Taiwan's Lin Wen-tang, who beat Edoardo Molinari and Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win this event in 2008. He was 10 shots better off than yesterday with a 64, seven birdies and just one bogies to lie two under.

 

PS - If you can't get enough day one player interviews, they're all transcribed here. The Lam, Kang, Park tale is quite amusing

 

 

11:30

Sore one for Scott Hend as he misses out on a BMW by a hair's breadth. A beautiful iron from the par-3 eighth, shaved the hole, agonisingly failing to fall in and give him the keys to the hole-in-one prize.

Meanwhile, here's some stats from tournament record keepers Genworth from day one:

 

Early leader David Higgins (-6): 

No.1 in birdies per round > 9

No.1 in putts per round  > 25

14th in driving accuracy, 19th in greens in regulation

 

Andrea Pavan (-5)

Best performance at the par fours 3.67 average

 

  • Stroke Average: 64.00  > Higgins
  • Driving Accuracy: 92.9% > Nacho Elvira, Richard Finch, Mithun Perera
  • Driving Distance: 331 yards > An Byeong-hun.
  • Greens in Regulation: 94.4% > Jbe Kruger, Robert-Jan Derksen.
  • Scrambles: 100% > Seve Benson, Mikko Korhonen, Anirban Lahiri.
  • Sand Saves: 100% > 32 players.
  • Putts per GIR: 1.462 > Prom Meesawat.
  • Putts per Round: 25.0 > David Higgins, Jaakko Makitalo, Unho Park.
  • 1 Putts: 12 > Unho Park.

 

 

 

11:10

It's another beautiful clear day at Fanling, a bit cooler than yesterday with more of a breeze.

Jimenez has dropped his first shot of the day, bogeying the par-3 sixth.

Alex Cejka has joined him at the top on -5 after two birdies in  a row on 13 and 14, from a large group on -4. 

Full leaderboard here on the European Tour website

Meanwhile, you can catch up with yesterday's action elsewhere on our site:

A round-up of day 1 action

Guan Tianlang's amazing day

And what the only major winner in the field, John Daly, thought of Guan

And how the local players fared

10:45

Good morning, and welcome to day 2 of the Hong Kong Open.

The early starters are already midway through their rounds and the top line of the day so far is a storming performance from defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The Spaniard is six under for the day and six under in total to lead outright from Angelo Que of the Philippines and another Spaniard, Nacho Elvira.

Jimenez, starting from the 11th tee, has had birdies on 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 3 so far with six holes to play.

He said yesterday he felt like he was playing well and just needed some putts to drop, and yesterday's post-round practice certainly seems to have paid off. 

Que birdied the first five holes of his back nine and is four under for the day with one to play, and Elvira is two under for the day, without a blur mark on the card after his first seven

 

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