Yang Yong Eun showed some of the form that made him Asia’s first Major winner as he surged to the top of the leaderboard on the second day of the UBS Hong Kong Open on Friday (13 November).
The Korean ace carded a three-under-par 67 at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling for a total of seven-under 133.
That gave him a share of the lead with Malaysia’s Danny Chia (66) and Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen, who was teeing off in the afternoon session.
Yang – who became the first Asian player in history to win a Major when he triumphed in the PGA Championship last August – said he had struggled with Friday’s cooler temperatures at Fanling after a warm opening day.
But he was still content with his second round in which he mixed five birdies with two bogeys. “The temperature was a surprise to me as I wasn’t expecting this kind of weather in Hong Kong,” he admitted.
“I had a hard time warming up and I had some difficulties trying to find my distance. It was a bit dark this morning and the greens were fast, probably because of the moisture, so it was hard to judge the distance.
“I think I’ve a fair chance this weekend. I’ve been playing well since the last round in Shanghai last week and hopefully I’ll perform well this weekend, too.”
Chia reached the turn one-under for the day but three birdies in a row from No.11 put smile on his face. “I hit a lot of fairways these two days and I guess that’s the key when you play a golf course like this,” he said. “I’ve holed some good putts as well.
“I think we had all kinds of weather over the last four days. From hot to cool to cold like today. It definitely makes a difference to your strategy. I had to choose a different club face on the tee box. I used a lot of two-irons because it was windy today.”
India’s SSP Chowrasia (69) and Ireland’s Peter Lawrie (68) were a shot behind the leaders on six-under.
The UBS Hong Kong Open’s defending champion, Lin Wen Tang of Chinese Taipei, Frenchman Grégory Bourdy and England’s David Dixon, all on six-under after the first round, were teeing off in the afternoon session on Friday.
First round leader Udorn Duangdecha of Thailand struggled on the second day, adding a 74 to his opening 62 to stand at four-under.
The UBS Hong Kong Open – Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event, having started in 1959 – is once again co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.