Jazz im­proves in sec­ond round at CIMB

Marathon man Jazz, Poom in 15th place

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

>> KUALA LUMPUR: Amer­i­can Pat Perez re­turned to the course with a hot put­ter af­ter a lengthy de­lay due to a storm, card­ing a seven-un­der-par 65 to claim a one-stroke lead in the sec­ond round of the US$7 million (ap­prox­i­mately 231 million baht) CIMB Clas­sic yes­ter­day.

The 41-year-old was one un­der when he made the turn but then scorched the course by pick­ing up six birdies on his fi­nal eight holes to end with a two-day to­tal of 131 at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.

Fel­low Amer­i­can Xan­der Schauf­fele, who started a shot be­hind overnight leader Cameron Smith of Aus­tralia, carded a 67 to sit a shot be­hind Perez.

“I didn’t think I re­ally played that well. I got off to a slow start, we had the break ob­vi­ously and just went out, and I like the front, I play bet­ter on the front,” Perez said.

“Just made some de­cent shots and I putted pretty well to­day. My short game was good so that saved me.”

The event, co-sanc­tioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour, fea­tures a smaller than usual field and there is no cut with the 78 play­ers sched­uled to com­plete all four rounds.

Play­ers were taken off the course dur­ing the sec­ond round due to the threat of light­ning, which caused a de­lay of close to four hours.

Overnight leader Smith strug­gled dur­ing his sec­ond round of 71 and slipped down to a share of third spot with South Korean Sung Kang (68) and Bel­gian Thomas Pi­eters (67).

World No.3 Hideki Mat­suyama, who was in the same group as Perez, shot a 68 and was tied for eighth af­ter start­ing his round with two birdies in three holes.

Amer­i­can Justin Thomas, who has won the tour­na­ment for the last two years with a com­bined score of 49 un­der, was tied for 33rd af­ter fol­low­ing up his open­ing round of 70 with a 71.

Mean­while, Thai­land’s Jazz Janewat­tananond made an im­prove­ment from his open­ing round by fir­ing a 69 to grab a share of 15th place.

With rain sus­pen­sion last­ing for more than three hours, Jazz was vis­i­bly tired af­ter spend­ing al­most 12 hours at the event.

The Thai over­came fa­tigue and took ad­van­tage of the cooler con­di­tions be­fore mark­ing his card with four birdies and one bo­gey for a two­day to­tal of 139.

Com­pa­triot Poom Sak­sansin had a round to for­get as he re­turned with a 74 to slip from an overnight tied-sec­ond place to tied-15th at the Malaysian show­piece.

Jazz said: “The stan­dard is very high on the PGA Tour. My score’s OK but I’m still far off the lead. So I’ll just try and play my best to­mor­row. It’s def­i­nitely an im­prove­ment from yes­ter­day. But I left a lot of putts out there that should have gone in, but still happy with my round.

“It was a very long day. I woke up like 5.30 this morn­ing and now it’s 5.30 again, so that’s like 12 hours on the course. We are play­ing in Asia and we should ex­pect such con­di­tions which might give some Asian play­ers a slight ad­van­tage.”

LEAD­ING SEC­OND ROUND SCORES

(Par-72)

131 — Pat Perez (USA) 66-65

132 — Xan­der Schauf­fele (USA) 65-67

135 — Kang Sung (KOR) 67-68, Cameron Smith (AUS) 64-71, Thomas Pi­eters (BEL) 68-67 136 — Kee­gan Bradley (USA) 65-71

Se­lected scores

138 — Hideki Mat­suyama (JPN) 70-68

139 — Jazz Janewat­tananond (THA) 70-69, Poom Sak­sansin (THA) 65-74

Pat Perez plays a shot in the sec­ond round of the CIMB Clas­sic at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.

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