HONG KONG: Danny Chia put himself on the fringe contention at the halfway stage of the UBS Hong Kong Open on Friday, thanks to an outward 29 in his second round of four-under-par 66.
The double Asian Tour winner enjoyed a flying start with five birdies in his opening seven holes at Hong Kong Golf Club which left him in a share of seventh position with Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao and England’s Steve Lewton.
Chia, who represented Malaysia at the Olympics and recent World Cup of Golf this season, was delighted to find his range with his driver after spending the past few months struggling with the longest club in the bag.
“I think the last two weeks, I’ve been starting to hit the ball a bit more solid. I think the driving has been showing some good signs because I haven’t been driving the ball that well this year,” said the Malaysian.
“I hit the ball and putted very solid on the front nine. Stiffed it. I think I probably hit it to about five feet three times on the front nine.”
As he moved up the leaderboard, with top spot held by Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello who leads on 11-under-par 129, some six shots ahead of him, Chia reckoned he paid the price for trying to be too aggressive on his homeward nine.
“I think I just probably tried a bit too hard on the back nine with my putting. I’m still hitting it quite solid. Just didn’t make as many putts as the front nine. But that’s golf. You can’t make everything,” he said. “I’ll try to finish well for the year. I haven’t done much this year.” ~ ASIAN TOUR
Leading second round scores (Par-70) >
129 – Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 64-65
132 – Sam Brazel (AUS) 66-66
134 – Danny Willett (ENG) 68-66, Paul Peterson (USA) 66-68, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 66-68, Justin Walters (RSA) 67-67
135 – Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-68, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 69-66, DANNY CHIA 69-66, Steve Lewton (ENG) 68-67
136 – Carlos Pigem (ESP) 68-68, Peter Uihlein (USA) 66-70, Daniel Im (USA) 69-67, Benjamin Hebert (FRA) 66-70, Jason Scrivener (AUS) 67-69, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-67, David Lipsky (USA) 66-70