Lutterus and Gillespie contend in China

BY Bruce Young | 16 May 2014

WUHAN, China—Things didn’t come quite as easily for Xin Jun Zhang in the second round of the United Investment Real Estate Wuhan Open as they did in the first. Zhang’s 2-under 70 came via two birdies and one bogey on the front nine and two more birdies and a single bogey on the back, and he walked away from Yishan Golf Club disappointed. Yet when the dust settled through 36 holes, Zhang holds a one-shot lead over Zheng Ouyang and Todd Baek, with two others, Yi Keun Chang and Sam Chien, two strokes behind.

In a barely-broke-a-sweat first round, where Zhang shot a 5-under 67, things were a bit more challenging on day two of the third event of the PGA TOUR China Series.

“My putting was so poor today,” Zhang explained. “I could have had more birdies, but I missed a couple of short putts.”

A day after making birdie at all four of Yishan’s four par-3s, his only non-par-5 birdie of the day was at the par-3 13th hole. Zhang’s other birdies were at Nos. 4, 6 and 15, and like every other player in the field, he knows he has to score on the four par-5s. “The course is not difficult, and I think everybody has a chance to get under par. So I have to focus on every shot.”

The field might disagree with Zhang’s assessment about the ease of the course. There were only eight rounds in the 60s Friday, the lowest a 68 by four players. Only four of Yishan’s 18 holes
played under-par in the second round.

One of those under-par scores belonged to order of merit leader Sam Chien, who flirted with his first score of par or worse since joining the Series. After shooting a 2-under 70 to open the
Wuhan Open, Chien had turned in nine consecutive under-par rounds to start his season. The streak was in jeopardy when, after beginning with a birdie on the par-4 first hole Friday, he made
a double bogey on the second.

New Zealander Nick Gillespie and South Australian David Lutterus lead the Australasians, the pair tied in 6th position, Queenslander Gavin Flint is 10th, while Bryden MacPherson, Chris Campbell, Brett Drewitt and Raymond Beaufils are next in a share of 11th.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


    Read all of Bruce's articles »




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