Morrison edges ahead in Singapore
England’s James Morrison put himself in pole position at the weather-affected Barclays Singapore Open on Friday.
England’s James Morrison put himself in prime position for the biggest payday of his career by taking the second round clubhouse lead at the weather-hit US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open on Friday.
The 26-year-old produced a barnstorming back nine 31 at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course for a three-under-par 68 to lead by two shots from sweet-swinging Filipino Juvic Pagunsan, who produced an impressive 66 also at the Serapong.
A lightning storm forced the suspension of play for two hours and 45 minutes, leaving 69 players having to return on Saturday morning (7.30am) to complete their second rounds in Asia’s richest national Open.
Italian Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari was on 11-under, one back of Morrison, through 10 holes of his second round, while Korea’s Y.E. Yang was nine-under through 12 holes when play was stopped at 6.41pm due to fading light.
The tournament’s top draws, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, battling a stomach bug, shot a 71 to trail by nine shots while American world number 11 and four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, who was announced on Thursday night that he will be inducted into the 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame, was two-under for the tournament through 12 holes.
A decision to ditch cricket for professional golf may prove to be a wise choice for Morrison as he kept his sights firmly on the US$1 million top prize for this week’s Barclays Singapore Open champion.
He has won once in Europe but success has been hard to come by this season with only two top-10s to his name. Still, the young Englishman is not afraid to lead from the front despite a near miss at the French Open in July where he led for three rounds before finishing seventh.
“I enjoy it. You play to win and to contend and to be interviewed and everything that comes with it and if you don’t enjoy all of that, then there is no point in playing. It’s what I love doing and I am looking forward to the weekend,” said Morrison, who represented the England cricket youth team before switching his attention to golf.
“I didn’t play as well today as I did yesterday but I managed to get it round and I am pretty happy with that, especially with a four under back nine to finish strongly.
“I led the French Open for three days which I think is probably on a par with this field. You don’t have Mickelson and (Camilo) Villegas there but there were a lot of world class players in that field and it was a massive learning curve for me.”
Like Morrison, Pagunsan has one win under his belt and hit into form with a top-10 in Taipei last week. He credited playing basketball for improving his fitness in his recent resurgence.
“Very happy, tough course here,” said Pagunsan, whose lone victory on the Asian Tour was recorded in 2007.
The soft-spoken Pagunsan was happy to be in the title frame but knows the finish line is still a long way away.
“Yeah. Really good. I just hung in there,” added the 33-year-old. “I think my mental (game) is getting stronger. I’m doing a bit of fitness training and playing some basketball with friends. Maybe one of the reasons is if you have physical fitness, your mental game gets stronger. You don’t worry when you get a little bit tired.”
Denmark’s Anders Hansen sizzled at the Tanjong course with a 64 to move to a share of fifth place on 133 alongside Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland, who carded a 66 at the same venue.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.
Lydia Ko firms lead for biggest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick leading race to become European number one
Rory McIlroy gave the Yorkshireman something to think about with a late blitz.
Lydia Ko in the lead for largest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old finished seven-under 65 in her bid to win the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick moves into pole position to become European number one
Fitzpatrick is now projected to finish top of the DP World Tour rankings for the first time.