BANGKOK (Reuters) – England’s Tommy Fleetwood was the surprise halfway leader at the Thailand Golf Championship on Friday, edging ahead with a composed display in tricky conditions.
Fleetwood followed up his opening round 71 with a three-under-par 69 to finish the second round perched on top of the leaderboard at four-under-par.
That left Fleetwood one shot clear of England’s Lee Westwood (71) and Australia’s Marcus Fraser (72) at three-under.
Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, who only earned his spot in the field after coming through a qualifying tournament, carded a 72 to grab a share of fourth place with American Jonathan Moore (71).
Germany’s two-time major winner Martin Kaymer shot a 72 to be in a three-way tie for sixth at one-under while reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson climbed 37 places up the leaderboard with a 70 and Spaniard Sergio Garcia lost ground when he signed for a 75.
Fleetwood was one of just 12 players who broke par in the swirling winds at the Amata Spring Country Club, on the outskirts of Bangkok.
“I played really well and had only about three or four bad shots. That’s what you need to do on a course with windy conditions like this,” said Fleetwood.
“Compared to yesterday where I had to scrap out a result and shoot a one-under which was unbelievable.” Westwood, who won the tournament in 2011, was well poised for another run at the title after a solid round.
“It was tricky out there. The wind was blowing a bit stronger than yesterday,” he said. “All in all it was a good round and three-under will put me in a good position for the weekend.”