Lee Westwood was in the pink on Pink Friday as he remained on course to successfully defend his Quinn Insurance British Masters title after a second round 70 took him to the top of the leaderboard.
The Worksop golfer’s two under par effort took him to six under for the tournament and into the clubhouse lead on a day when over three hours golf were lost to thick morning fog at The Belfry. As a result, half the field were unable to finish their second rounds with Jeev Milkha Singh, at six under par, among those who will need to return to the course at 7.45am on Saturday morning.
A remarkable day at The Belfry, when almost the entire field came out in pink to support two charities - Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer – saw a record equalling three holes in one.
England’s Phillip Archer set the trend when aced the seventh before Spain’s Alvaro Quiros followed him in on the 12th and finally Singh aced the seventh as well. It was the first time since the 2006 TCL Classic that three holes on one had been recorded in the same round.
Singh’s ace, sitting nicely alongside three birdies, lifted the Indian alongside Westwood on six under.
Starting at the tenth, Westwood bogeyed his opening hole after plugging hi ball in a greenside bunker with his approach.
But he birdied the 11th, only to bogey the 12th before once again pulling the shot back at the 13th. A bogey at 14 saw him turn in 37 but The Ryder Cup player hit a hat-trick of birdies at the first, second and third to go under par for his round.
“I'm in decent position,” Westwood said. “I played okay today. I Got off to a poor start when I bogeyed the tenth and bogeyed the 12th, hit a couple of poor shots, and the 14th.
“I got a couple birdies in the middle there but I didn't make the most of 15 and 17, and then around the turn I got up and down on 18 and then three birdies on one, two and three, and a great birdie at seven. I hit a seven iron to three feet.
“All in all, I played quite solidly, but I hope to play better tomorrow. I didn't sleep very well last night with the jet lag and felt tired all day today.
“I don't think the three hours sitting around this morning particularly helped, but you can't really do too much about that.”
Three players sit a shot behind Westwood - Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares, Scotland’s Marc Warren and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
Warren made a one under 71 to build on his impressive opening round.
“It was a good day, I played solid again,” he said after registering four birdies and three bogeys. “It was not quite as good as yesterday but very good. I just wasn't comfortable over the putter all day.
“I Didn't hole putts, otherwise it would have been a few better.”
Cañizares, who spent the delay puzzling over a Rubik’s cube, produced a four under par round of 68, with five birdies including one on his opening hole the tenth.
He said: “The greens are rolling great and you can get very confident with the putter, because if you are rolling the ball on line, they roll beautifully.
“It's a tough golf course, but the rough is unbelievably tough.
“As soon as you miss the fairways, you have to lay up and I managed to hit the ball in the fairway today a little better than yesterday, and I made some good putts again.”
Former Open Champion Paul Lawrie also enjoyed a good second day, his 71 taking him to four under for the tournament, alongside England’s Sam Walker.
“I probably should have been a few less, but that's what golfers always think,” Lawrie said.
“But overall, four under around here for two days is okay.”
Round two will resume at 7.45am with round three not due to start before 10.45am.
|T5||SINGH, Jeev Milkha||IND||18||-6|