Rose sails into Hong Kong lead
Justin Rose will head into the weekend with a one stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, after carding a four-under-par 66 during the second round.
Rose, who had a bogey-free first round, made just one blemish on Friday and that was the dropped shot recorded at the ninth (his 18th). For a protracted period during Friday's second round, it looked like Rose would be completely flawless yet again.
Starting on the back nine, Rose drained birdies at the 10th, 14th and 18th holes. He continued his run when he made the turn, carding consecutive birdies at the third and fourth holes. During that spell there was not a bogey in sight.
However, Rose was not the only player to benefit for the low scoring conditions which presented themselves on Friday, with compatriots Ian Poulter, Matt Ford and Matthew Fitzpatrick also cashing in.
Poulter is in a tie for third, after the first 36 holes and Ford is in a tie for fifth, alongside Fitzpatrick. Both players are now just three strokes behind the leader.
This week is critical for several players on the European Tour. Some are fighting to secure a card for the coming season, while others are trying to secure a spot among the top 60 in the Race to Dubai.
Poulter is currently at 50th in the Race to Dubai. Following his four-under-par 66 on Friday, he has now put himself in a strong position to build on that this week. The Englishman is two strokes behind the leader.
Ford is outside the top 110 in the world but he could make some progress if he builds on the five-under-par 65 that he carded during the second round this week. Ford is on six-under-par for the week and three strokes behind Rose.
Fitzpatrick is fast emerging as a top candidate to win the Tour Championship at the end of the season. He was not as prolific as his compatriots on Friday but remains just three strokes behind the leader heading into the weekend.
Other stories were written on Friday though, as world number 285 Lucas Bjerregaard, who also started on the back nine, climbed four places on the leaderboard, finishing the round just one stroke behind Rose, after he also recorded a 66.
First round leader Wei-chin Lu dropped two places on Friday, despite shooting an under par round. He heads into the weekend, in a tie for third.
The man who shared the lead with him on Thursday, Andrea Pavan, dropped a remarkable 15 places on Friday, after carding a two-over-par 72 in the second round. His prospects have not diminished completely though, as he is still just five strokes behind Rose.
Former PGA Champion Y. E. Yang has continued to roll back the years this week, after carding a 66 on Friday, which moved him 16 places up the leaderboard, where he currently sits on six-under-par for the tournament.
Indian superstar Anirban Lahiri continues to impress on the European Tour, and joins Yang in a tie for fifth heading into the weekend.
What you need to know about the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons
Find out if the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons are for you.
WATCH: Golf course maintenance crew lose control of cart and drive it off bridge
Out of control maintenance men can be a curse.
PING refresh PLD Milled putters – and the standards are as high as ever
There is nothing about the 2024 PING PLD Milled putters that is really surprising but the range lives up to the name.
Tiger Woods makes rare wood change in adjusted 2024 bag
Tiger Woods makes a big change.
11 of Texas’ best exclusive golf courses that you’ll probably never play
Texas has a fine selection of private golf courses worth adding to your bucket list.
WATCH: Wife makes no attempt to hide laugher watching husband mishit golf shot
If you can’t laugh at yourself on the golf course bring your wife along.
WATCH: Golfer struggles to get down the green in treacherous wind and rain
What does it take to get you off the golf course?
The 7 best balls for low swing speed golfers to get more distance
Get more distance with these balls.
WATCH: Amateur golfer suffers pain of double-hit attempting chip for bogey
Double-hits are no longer punished the same way as before.
Why Bandon Dunes is a must visit golfing mecca in Oregon
Bandon Dunes is a special golf resort.