Honma Hong Kong Open

As it happened: Hong Kong Open - Day Two

Follow the action from the US$2 million event from Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 8:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 6:35pm


Day Two wrap: Metronomic Rafa Cabrera Bello takes three-shot lead at Hong Kong Open


The last putt of the day drops. It's Rafa Cabrera Bello's day again at Fanling. The Spainiard has a three shot lead over Australia's Sam Brazel and the duo will be back in the final group tomorrow. There is a two shot gap to Masters champion Danny Willett, American Paul Peterson, England's Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Walters.

WATCH: Roundup of Day Two at the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open 

It could be the perfect end to a remarkabke year for Cabrera Bello....take a look at our preview - Rafa Cabrera-Bello has that winning feeling ahead of Hong Kong Open

No Hong Kong players made the weekend. Justin Rose, American Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter will all be back for two more rounds, although they have it all to do to catch Cabrera Bello. 

WATCH: Local golfers battle it out at the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open


A total of 68 players have made the weekend with level par after two rounds required. Just over 10,000 spectators were here, more to come over the weekend for sure. 


And a word from Sam Brazel:

"It was fun out there again. Got lucky a couple of times. The putter seems to be working OK, so it's nice."

Handful of players left on course with a few at -4 and also Hong Kong's Yue Yin-hi is in playing his last hole of a +10 round. 


It does seem, though, Ian Poulter is not too unhappy to the question "@IanJamesPoulter did the camera man move on your 1st,2nd,3rd,4th,5th,6th,7th or 8th shot of the par 4. #growup"


We can, though, hear from a much happier man and that is clubhouse leader Rafa Cabrera Bello who is three clear heading into the weekend: 

"Played solid and put myself in very few risky positions. Felt in control again. Just managed to keep up the good work as yesterday. I'm going to try to do nothing different. Just stick to my game plan and try to keep playing smart and being patient, waiting for my opportunities, and hopefully hitting good shots and creating some birdie chances, too."


Word of warning, stay clear of Ian Poulter. Bogey at the last for a two-over 72 to drop to level par overall. He will probably make the weeked but we won't be finding out how he feels having refused to answer questions from the media. He was happy (well not really happy) to sign autographs, but after letting out a scream and choice swear word beginning with F as he entered the scoring hut to hand in his card which contains that eight on a par four, he was not in the mood for much else. 


Par for Rafa at the last. That is a five-under 65 with just the one bogey for Cabrera Bello, and with a first round 64, it is looking like a three shot lead over Sam Brazal (66) heading into the weekend after moving onto -11. 

Tommy Fleetwood is the nearest challenger left on the course with the Englishman four back with three to play. 

Cut line still at even. Poulter and Reed look to be OK for two more rounds. 


Cabrera Bello is playing the last with a three shot lead over the field. Looks like level is making the weekend as it stands. 

But that won't save the Hong Kong players. Yannick Artigolle best of a bad bunch at +2 today for +6 overall with five holes to play. Patrick Reed edges closer to the weekend with a biride to move to -1. Ian Poulter and his very bad mood manages a par to also stay at -1. 


Ian Poulter rolls it in for an EIGHT. That drops (or rather plummets) him down to -1. He will make the weekend as it stands, but he does not have much room to work with. If his bad mood continues, he could be heading home. 

Poulter said this yesterday after his first round: "I'm probably going to need to go to a padded room for about half an hour, and then I'll be all right."

He might need at least a couple of hours inside tonight....


Ian Poulter is not a happy man. Smashes his club into the ground on the 15th and then goes from one side of the green to the other from a bunker. He was at -5 overall and -3 for the day, but he is racking up a high score here. 

At the top, Cabrera Bello is three clear of Brazel who is home with a second consecutive 66. 


Cabrera Bello is up to -11 with three to play after another birdie lives him to -5 today. That now means a three shot lead as Brazel lets slip a stroke at his penultiate hole of the day. Tommy Fleetwood looking to bridge the gap after moving a shot behind Brazel at -3 today. 

The cut is set to come at level par, which is good news for Justin Rose. American Patrick Reed is at level overall with five holes left. 


Just in case you need a recap of today's events so far ... Masters champion Danny Willett storms into contention at Hong Kong Open; Justin Rose set to make cut

On the course, Cabrera Bello has moved into -10 with a fifth birdie of the day. Brazel is a shot further back at -5 for the day with two holes to play. Looks like this two will spend tomorrow afternoon together with a three shot gap now to Danny Willett (66), Tommy Fleetwood (-2 after 11) and Justin Walters (-3 after 10). 

Ian Poulter is at five-under overall with the former champion -3 for his round. 


No sooner said and another birdie appears for Brazel. The Australian is now tied with Cabrera Bello at nine-under. Brazel only has three holes left, while Rafa has seven including the middle stretch of the last nine holes that have yieleded the odd eagle and several birdies today. 

Here is what Justin Rose said about the course layout today -

"The pins were incredible on the back nine. I think there were definitely two different guys who set up the course, someone on the front, someone on the back. The back nine pins were a lot of fun to play. Loads of them were three from the edge, and new pins that weren't there last year."


Sam Brazel up to -8 with four holes left. Looks like he will run out of holes and the overnight lead is Rafa's to lose. The Spainiard is still at -8 after 11. 


Rafa moves onto -9 at the turn and two clear of the field, finishing in style with back-to-back birdies. Tommy Fleetwood is up to -7 overall and two back alongside Sam Brazel. Fleetwood is -3 through seven, with Brazel still at -3. 


Hong Kong update. Yannick Artigolle is -2 today to pull himself back to +2 overall. Yue Hin-ho +1 today and +5 for the week with Humphrey Wong +4 today and +10 overall. As it stands, Wong and Terrence Ng (+7 today and +11 overall) are last. 

Cut line currently at +1 so there is a chance for some Hong Kong representaion over the weekend. 


Justin Rose: I played well today. Just solid enough. Hit loads of greens. Putting on the front nine I struggled with. Just kind of, I guess, yeah, I just missed too many short ones really. Questioning my lines on the greens is tough. I'm not quite finding the visuals of them yet. They were definitely smoother today, so there's no excuse from that point of view. They are quite grainy, so sometimes I'm playing for grain and it's not working out. Other times, I feel like the grain is pulling it. It's just tricky. But I think when I have hit good putts, they have gone in. So it's just a matter of just being probably - getting the doubt out of the read, as well. Just commit to something and hit a good putt.

Danny Willett: It was a nice day. We played pretty good yesterday and didn't take loads of chances. Played just nice and steady again today. It's a golf course you've got to put your ball in position off the tee. You can take a few things on but as soon as you get in the rough around here, you've not got much control of your golf ball. The greens are a bit firmer this year, and obviously then with a few tight pins, it makes it more difficult.

This is what these guys are playing for this week. US$333,330 for the winner, with 70th taking home US$3,650. 

For those interested, this is what the players are aiming at today...


Seems like Rafa Cabrera Bello has played into a media event scheduled for this afternoon..

On the course, he is -1 through six to sit alongside Sam Brazel at the top of the leaderboard with the Australian -3 after eight holes. 

Danny Chia going well at -5 after eight to move up to -6 overall. 

Little bit of lunchtime reading....

With even golf’s Asian tour wary of expanding in China, the game looks like missing out on country’s sporting boom


In the race for the Asian Tour order of merit, Australia's Scott Hend is on course to claim the title. Marcus Fraser needs to win here this week and compatriot Hend finish lower than 13th. Hend is currnelty -3 overall after a 68 today, with Fraser is at -1 to after four holes bring himself back to even par overall. 


Danny Willett is the new clubhouse leader with a four-under 66 taking the Masters champion to -6 overall. Thongchai Jaidee back home with a 68 for a -5 total. 

Justin Rose will need to keep half an eye on the leaderboard with a 69 leaving the defending champion also -1 overall after two rounds. 

On the course, Rafa Cabrera Bello is two-under through three and two clear of the pack with Sam Brazel (-2 today after six) and Paul Peterson (-2 after 5) at six-under overall. 


Justin Rose (and those organsiers) might be in for a nervous afternoon. Defending champion is back to -1. Cut now would be at even par, but there is a lot of golf still to play today. 

Rafa is away and birdies the second to join Brazel at the top of the leaderboard. 


Australia's Sam Brazel is off and running and goes par-birdie-eagle from the 11th (remember players are going off the first and 11th tees this week). Seems that's where shots are being picked up today. He is onto seven-under overall.

Rafa is off the first tee and starts with a par to remain at -6. Five players at -5 including Danny Willett and and Thongchai Jaidee. 

Spain's Carlos Pigem is the clubhouse leader at -4 overall after a two-under 68 today. He is doing well considering...

‘I’m still in shock’ – tributes paid at Hong Kong Open after death of two caddies in past week

Meanwhile, those same organisers say there was just under 10,000 people at the course yesterday. 9892 to be exact. Free entry for the first two days did bring in larger galleries for a first round, but think they might have been counted on the way in and on the way out.


Think the organisers will enjoy their lunch a bit better. Justin Rose is -2 with two to play and two-under overall. Should be Ok to be back for the weekend. But will he be too far off the pace to mount a title defence, something he has never done in his career. 


But who else will be? Caddy bibs are all handed back, but who will be getting it back?


Rafa Cabrera Bello about to get his second circuit underway. Six players now at shot off the pace including Thongchai Jaidee (-2), Danny Willett (-3) and now Taiwan's Hung Chien-yao (-4). 

Meanwhile, it's getting busy on the terrace at Hong Kong Golf Club....

And also on the first tee....


Frenchman Benjamin Hebert is one off the pace at -5 as this takes him to -1 today.


Ignore that. Bertasio hands the shot back and then Willett follows suit and Cabrera Bello is back at the top. It's a funny old game. 

Nathan Kimsey is the clubhouse leader for the second round with a level par 70 leaving him at -3 overall. He will be back for the weekend we can assume, unlike Hong Kong's Terrence Ng who is back and forced to put his name to a 77 and a total of +11. James Stewart not done yet but is +5 today and +7 overall.


Back-to-back birdies for Nino Bertasio to move to three-under and it's a three-way tie at the top with Danny Willett and Rafa Cabrera Bello.


Peter Uihlein drops a shot and Danny Willett is the leader on the course at four-under (which is the best score of the day so far) and -6 overall. Rafa Cabrera Bello is off at midday. 


Danny Willett moves to the top of the leaderboard alongside Peter Uihlein and Rafa Cabrera Bello. The Masters champions knocks in a fifth birdie of the day at the 2nd (his 10th hole of the day) to move to six-under overall. Uihlein -2 today, with Cabrera Bello set to resume at midday. 


To suggest an answer to one of the earlier questions, Justin Rose. The question, who might miss the cut. The defending champioin is one-over after 10 holes. Last year's mark fell at level par. 

Hong Kong's Terrance Ng is certainly one of those who won't be back tomorrow. The amateur is +10 overall after a double bogey takes him to +6 for the day. 

James Stewart in the same category. +4 for the day and +6 overall. 

One interested party in the crowd is jockey Zac Purton who is taking a break for preperations for this weekend's International Races at Sha Tin. 


Nino Bertasio two-under through nine to move to five-under overall alongside Peter Uihlein, Danny Willett and Jens Fahrbring.

Decent crowds following the groups involving Justin Rose and Danny Willett as well. 


Danny Willett knocked this approach in for a fourth birdie of the day to move to three-under for the second round and five-under overall. The Masters champion is playing with Kiradech Aphibarnrat who could only manage a par to stay at +1 overall but four-under for the round. 


Danny Willett's group just walked past the media centre with the board showing -4 for the Masters champion, who is two-under through six for the day with another chance at the 17th after starting on the 17th. 


Peter Uihlein drops a shot and hands the sole place at the top of the leaderboard back to Rafa Cabrera Bello. Danny Willett still at two-under fo the day after a bogey-birdie-birdie-birdie start. 

Justin Rose is +1 after six holes to slip back to one-over. 

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat is enjoying himself. Four-under after five with two birdies and an eagle, just a shame he was +5 yesterday. 

To get in the mood for the day, check out these two beauties from yesterday....

Few questions for today....

Can Justin Rose sink some putts? The defending champion left a few shots out there yesterday, but a level par first round isn't a bad return having not played a practice round to protect his injured back. 

Who will make the cut? Long way off but it's also a long way to come to head back without a pay cheque?

Will a Hong Kong player make the weekend? James Stewart is currently one-under through seven to get back to +1, with Terrance Ng off to a poor start at +3 after 10 to drop back to seven-over. Yannick Artigolle (+4), Yue Yin-ho (+4) and Humphrey Wong (+7) all in action later but have their work cut out to make it through. 


Masters champion Danny Willett is also a morning person with two birdies in four holes taking him to four-under overall and now two adrift of the leaders. And Asian Tour order of merit leader Scott Hend, who looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but here yesterday, is also two-under to move to three-under overall. 

If you missed any of the action yesterday, why not take a look back at the first round blog to get the juices flowing ahead of today's second round. 

Welcome back to a chilly morning at Hong Kong Golf Club for the second round of the Hong Kong Open.

Overnight leader Rafa Cabrera Bello will probably be having his breakfast right now ahead of his 12:00 tee time, after the Spaniard carded an opening round six-under-par 64 yesterday to claim a one-shot clubhouse lead.

Peter Uihlein has joined Cabrera Bello at the top of the leaderboard this morning, with the American two-under through the first six holes of his second trip around the composite course layout at Fanling.

For a recap of the first round, take a look at - ‘Better, stronger, looser’ – injury-hit Justin Rose warns rivals he’s over worst as he defends Hong Kong Open title

And you might also be interested in - 

‘My brain is getting in the way’ – Ian Poulter furious at mental lapses at Hong Kong Open

‘I’m still in shock’ – tributes paid at Hong Kong Open after death of two caddies in past week

Chinese golf star Dou Zecheng sets sights on US – but impressing at Hong Kong Open is first target