"Catch me if you can" was the unspoken challenge from defending champion Scott Hend as he ruled the roost at lunchtime and Adam Groom responded to take a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the US$900,000 Venetian Macau Open on Friday. The Australian pair were at 10-under-par 132 and held a one-shot lead over Martin Rominger, of Switzerland, with India's Anirban Lahiri, the overnight leader, and Taiwanese Chan Shih-ching two shots behind. The tournament lost drawcard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who shot a disappointing 72 to miss the cut for the second successive week, following his shock early exit at the Hong Kong Open. But the other big name, Ernie Els, managed to hang on, despite carding a one-over 72 to be 10 shots off the pace. It's nice to play solid in the first two rounds and not having to score some ridiculous scores on the weekend like I did last year winning the tournament Scott Hend Hend's remarkable opening round of nine-under 62 could prove crucial, especially if conditions turn blustery at the Macau Golf and Country Club this weekend. His plan is to play conservatively in an attempt to go back-to-back after winning in Hong Kong last weekend. "Today was just the trotting day, no galloping, just trotting," said Hend, who finished with a one-under 70. "That first round has put me in a strong position. "It's nice to play solid in the first two rounds and not having to score some ridiculous scores on the weekend like I did last year winning the tournament." On Friday, the wind picked up and Hend cannily tried to make the greens in regulation. "You have to play conservatively and hopefully roll in some putts. Everyone will make a bogey. If you can play 72 holes without a bogey you should win quite easily," Hend said. Groom added a 67 to his first-round 65 and found himself in the unfamiliar position of being in the last group heading into the weekend. "It's been a while since I have done this and it will be nice to be in the company of Scott who is in top form," said Groom, who is chasing his first win since joining the Asian Tour 10 years ago. Rominger is in the company of his wife and caddie for the week, Simona, and they are a perfect team. The Swiss ace rolled in five birdies, offset by a double bogey to finish on 68 for a 133 total. "She's the best caddie for me. She knows exactly what I like and I taught her what I like in a caddie," Rominger said. "I'm happy, I did well apart from one poor shot." Lahiri, who shot the lights out on Thursday with a course-record 10-under 61, struggled as he carded five bogeys to finish with a two-over 73.