Yang has the edge in California
US PGA champion Y.E. Yang produced one of the rounds of the day to take the halfway lead at the Chevron World Challenge.
US PGA champion Y E Yang produced one of the rounds of the day to take the halfway lead at the Chevron World Challenge in California, as Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter stayed in the hunt.
Korean Yang, who was playing the PGA Tour qualifying school a year ago, did not let dizziness and congestion affect his play as he shot a seven-under-par 65 at Sherwood Country Club to move to nine under after 36 holes.
That gave Yang a two-shot lead over the field in a tournament hosted by an absent Tiger Woods to benefit his foundation.
American Kenny Perry matched the Korean’s 65 to get to seven under alongside Ireland’s Harrington (68) and first-round co-leader Poulter, whose 69 followed an opening 68.
The Englishman landed birdies at the 10th, 13th, 16th and 17th to get to seven under but again found trouble at the 18th where he had double bogeyed in the first round.
He was again wayward off the tee, forcing him to lay up out of thick rough but this time escaped with a par.
Poulter, playing for the sixth week in a row after a long stint in Asia, said he was still motivated by the chance to break into the world’s top 10 in the rankings, the 18-man event carrying ranking points for the first time this week – despite the extensive travelling, .
“This is week six of seven on the road which is very unusual for me to play that many tournaments in a row,” Poulter said after his round.
“Being away from your family for such a long time is so difficult and all the flights have been long so this has been pretty tiring.
“But each tournament in the last five weeks has been a big one so I’ve been pretty pumped up to try and
knock off every week.
“I’m feeling pretty tired but when you turn up at this event you’ve got so many great players playing and you’ve got world ranking points this year for the first time.
“I can move significantly in the world rankings and get myself comfortably in the top 10. So I teed off here yesterday pretty pumped up to try and win this tournament.”
Zach Johnson had equalled Poulter in the opening round but followed with a 70 to fall a shot behind, while European number one Lee Westwood and Johnson’s fellow American Sean O’Hair both hit 67s to join the former Master champion on six under.
Westwood’s shot of the day came at the par-five 11th when he sent in a superb second shot to within inches of the hole, allowing him to tap in for an eagle and move to five under.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the late replacement for Woods following the world number one’s withdrawal due to injuries sustained in a car crash last Friday, shot a 69 to improve to four under and eighth place.
England’s Paul Casey bounced back to level par for the week with a three-under 69 but Martin Kaymer of Germany had to settle for an even 72 to slip to one over.
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