Chile’s Ironman Aguilar clinches clubhouse lead in China Open
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