Chile’s Iron­man Aguilar clinches club­house lead in China Open

The Herald - Herald Sport - - CYCLING -

CHILE’S Felipe Aguilar claimed the club­house lead in the weather-dis­rupted Volvo China Open af­ter fi­nally over­com­ing the ef­fects of his unortho­dox win­ter ac­tiv­i­ties.

Aguilar stormed home in 31 at Top­win Golf and Coun­try Club to add a flaw­less 65 to his open­ing 68 and set the tar­get on 11 un­der par, one shot ahead of Swe­den’s Alex Noren and Aus­tria’s Bernd Wies­berger.

The 41-year-old had missed the cut in six straight events be­fore fin­ish­ing tied 58th in the Shen­zhen In­ter­na­tional last week and ad­mit­ted com­plet­ing an Iron­man triathlon over the win­ter had taken its toll. “It’s been a tough be­gin­ning of the year so hope­fully this will be a turn­around point,” Aguilar said. “I think I be­lieve my doc­tors when they said the Iron­man was go­ing to af­fect my fit­ness for the first two months [of the year]. They said it could take 45 days [to re­cover] and it took close to 60 days.

“It takes a lot of time and en­ergy and both sports don’t go along with each other. I look back on it as a great ex­pe­ri­ence and I’ll do it again af­ter I quit play­ing golf.” Play was ini­tially sus­pended due to the threat of light­ning and then aban­doned for the day due to dark­ness, with the se­cond round set to re­sume at 0645 lo­cal time on Satur­day.

First-round leader Hen­nie Otto had four holes to play and was two shots off the lead on nine un­der par along­side Eng­land’s Tyrrell Hat­ton, Den­mark’s Lu­cas Bjer­re­gaard, Ger­many’s Mar­cel Siem and Korea’s Tae-hoon Kim, who recorded a hole-in-one on his way to a bril­liant 64.

IN CHARGE Aguilar holds a one-shot lead af­ter an im­pres­sive start on the Ma­jlis Course

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