China Series Buick Open reaches weekend
03 May 2014
GUANGZHOU, China—The way American Sam Chien figures it, his strategy is working so there’s no reason to change. After hitting his driver only twice in the first round of the Buick Open, that particular club remained somewhat idle Friday. Chien pulled out the driver one more time than the previous day on his way to a 5-under 67, giving him an 11-under total and a three-stroke lead heading into the weekend of the PGA TOUR China Series’ second tournament.
Chien is attempting to win a tournament for the second time in a month. In early April, playing on the All American Gateway Tour, he won the Spring Series’ final event, capturing a playoff in Arizona. He admitted that victory gave him “a little spring in my step,” and it’s shown since the onset of the PGA TOUR China Series. On his resume he has a tie for sixth at Mission Hills and now the 36-hole lead at the Buick Open.
“I feel very happy with my position. But there is a long way still to go,” Chien added.
Lurking in second place is 17-year-old amateur Ze Cheng Dou, who shows no signs of going away on the weekend. Dou, with 12 birdies against only four bogeys through the first 36 holes, tied for 26th in the PGA TOUR China Series’ Mission Hills event, and he has played tournaments on the European Tour, the OneAsia Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia since 2012. He’s only 17, but he certainly doesn’t act like it.
A group of four players are tied for third, four shots behind Chien. In that group are Australians Brett Drewitt, Brad McIntosh and Gavin Flint, American Anthony Kang, a European Tour and Asian Tour veteran, and China’s Zhang, who continues his strong play after finishing as runner-up at Mission Hills two weeks ago.