Tiger Woods, the 1998 champion, swept into the halfway lead in the Johnnie Walker Classic at Alpine Golf and Sports Club, Bangkok – the opening event on the 2001 European Tour International Schedule. The world number one, seeking his tenth victory of the year, fired a seven under par 65 for an 11 under par total of 133 and a one stroke lead over Australian Rodney Pampling.
Woods, who beat Ernie Els in a dramatic play-off when the tournament was last played in Thailand, took advantage of easier scoring conditions in the morning to add his superb 65 to an opening 68.
That gave him a slender lead over Pampling – the man who led the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie then missed the cut. The Australian tagged a 66 onto his first round 68, finishing with a hat-trick of birdies.
There was a three-way tie for third place between a trio of Australians, Paul Gow (69), Geoff Ogilvy (67) and first round leader Wayne Smith (70).
Lawrie, who won the Open title two days after Pampling’s misfortune, lies in sixth on 136 after a second round 69.
Sweden's Jesper Parnevik, recovering from recent hip surgery, was on seven under after a 65 while defending champion Michael Campbell, playing alongside Woods, kept himself in the frame with a 67 to move to six under alongside Spain's Sergio Garcia, who was 10 shots better with a superb 64.
Woods carded eight birdies and just one bogey, coming home in 31, to put himself in pole position for an amazing tenth win of a year that has brought him three major titles - the first player to do that since the legendary Ben Hogan in 1953
"I played a lot better than yesterday," said the 24-year-old American. "I drove the ball good again and hit some good iron shots which left me with some makeable putts and I made almost every one.
"This morning the greens were a lot more receptive than yesterday afternoon. When you hit a ball in there it wouldn't skip on to the back. You could make a ball stop and I spun a few back. There was also no wind early on and it always does make a lot of difference."
Former Open champion Lawrie also enjoyed the better scoring conditions with four birdies in his first seven holes as he chased a first win since his triumph at Carnoustie in 1999.
Lawrie, annoyed at missing out on the lucrative World Championship event at Valderrama last week, was giving himself plenty of chances but failed to convert them.2nd Round Video Highlights