Rai runs riot with new course record in Hong Kong
Aaron Rai produced a course-record 61 at Hong Kong Golf Club to open up a commanding four-shot lead on day two of the Honma Hong Kong Open.
On a placid morning, the scoring conditions were perfect for the early starters on Friday.
England’s Rai was quick to acknowledge the opportunity to go low and played aggressively from the start.
He made six birdies in his first nine holes before finding three more on the back nine to break the course record by two strokes and move to 14-under-par.
🎤 The tournament leader on his course-record 61.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 23, 2018
That leaves him four shots clear of closest challenger Hyowon Park – the talented South Korean signed for an impressive bogey-free 62.
“We didn’t have much wind and, starting out pretty early the first nine holes, it feels like you’re playing a round at home, which is nice,” Rai smiled afterwards.
“But I played very well, kept it in play, had a lot of chances and made a lot of putts, too. Everything was on song today.
— Matt Wallace (@mattsjwallace) November 23, 2018
“I’ve just got to try and stay as close to the original game plan as much as possible. I think if you get too conservative and if you try and defend the lead a little bit too much, you can start going backwards very easily but also you can’t get too aggressive around this course.
“As hard as it is and as easy as it is to say, you just have to try and stick to what you’re doing and what has got you into this position.”
The 23-year-old is yet to win on the European Tour. He is in pole position to break that duck this week.
Injury rules Open champion Cameron Smith out of BMW Championship
The Australian world number two currently sits third in the FedEx Cup standings, 1,132 points behind leader Will Zalatoris.
Will Zalatoris triumphs in dramatic playoff to claim first PGA Tour win
The American defeated Austria’s Sepp Straka in three extra holes at TPC Southwind – despite not making a birdie.
Ewen Ferguson seals wire-to-wire victory at ISPS Handa World Invitational
The 26-year-old Scot also won the Qatar Masters in March.
New Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald motivated by ‘bitter’ memories of 2021 defeat
Stenson was stripped of the role for breaking his contract by joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The task facing Luke Donald after replacing Henrik Stenson
Stenson was appointed on March 15 and said he was fully committed to a role before signing with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
Tony Finau claims second straight PGA Tour victory
The American won the 3M Open in his previous outing.
Henrik Stenson cushions Ryder Cup blow with £3.6m debut win in LIV Golf
The Swede was stripped of his role as Europe captain after joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson becomes latest player to join LIV Golf
The left-hander is currently sidelined by a knee injury and is not expected to play until next season,
Luke Donald tipped to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
The Swede lost the job 127 days after his appointment following his decision to join the LIV Golf series.