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Friday, 19 March 2010
UBS Hong Kong Open - Round Two  (Getty Images)
UBS Hong Kong Open - Round Two (Getty Images)

England's Oliver Fisher put himself in contention for a maiden European Tour victory as he moved into a four way tie at the top of the UBS Hong Kong Open leaderboard at the end of the second round.

The 20 year old had started the day three shots behind overnight leaders Liang Wen-chong and Richard Sterne but carded a five under par 65 to join compatriot Oliver Wilson, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand at eight under 132.

Fisher, whose experience playing Hong Kong Golf Club as a junior in the Faldo Series clearly helped, made a strong start to his second round, landing his approach shot to within a couple of feet on both the par three second and par four fourth for birdie putts and then added another on the sixth to reach the turn at three under. He then added two more coming home without dropping a shot to put himself in the hunt this weekend.

"It is very good," said Fisher. "I played very solid and I am in a good position going into the weekend. We obviously played the Faldo Series here a couple of times.  We came out when we were younger, and staying at the hotel at the course, so I'm quite familiar with the place.  It's good to come to Hong Kong, and I like where we are staying on the island there and there's quite a lot to do. It's a nice change from back home." 

Also looking for his first win on The European Tour is Wilson, who lost out in a play-off to Sergio Garcia at the recent HSBC Champions. A win would not only put a string of runner-up finishes behind him, but would also place him top of The Race to Dubai by overtaking Garcia.

Having began his second round on the tenth tee, the 28 year old reeled off four birdies against one bogey to reach the turn at three under.

He then picked up another birdie on the fourth, sinking a putt from 15 feet before adding another on the par four sixth after placing his approach shot to within a foot of the pin.

That moved Wilson two clear of the field but he bogeyed the last to finish four under for the day.

"I'm obviously pretty happy with the first two days," said The Ryder Cup player. "It has gone according to plan so far. I really wanted to come here and play well, and put in a really good performance, obviously try and win before the end of the season.

"And  if I can win this week, I think I'd be able to overtake Sergio at the top of The Race to Dubai, which would be fantastic to go into Christmas in that position."

However, it was Oosthuizen who produced the best round of the tournament as the 26 year old made eight birdies without dropping a shot for an eight under par 62 - his lowest score on The European Tour.

He could have equalled the course record of 61 but unfortunately saw a birdie putt on the par four 11th lip out.

"I've been playing well for the last seven months really but I just can't get that final edge in," said Oosthuizen.

"I am just going to play the way I have played the last two rounds and the last seven months and I am quite confident with how I am playing."

Plaphol, a two time winner on the Asian Tour, had started the second round tied for fifth but climbed into a share of the lead late in the day with five birdies and a bogey to finish with a four under 66.

Colin Montgomerie is looking to secure his second victory in Hong Kong and ensured he remains in contention to do just that. He even quipped on the eve of the tournament that it was "written in the stars" after winning the Pro-Am as he did prior to his last victory in 2005.

The Scot began his second round four shots off the lead but nailed six birdies with just a bogey on the par four 15th the only blot on his scorecard.

Montgomerie is one stroke off the lead at seven under for the tournament amongst a group of five players.

"I feel very comfortable here," said Montgomerie. "I won here before in 2005 and it is a place I feel comfortable with. I like the city and feel very safe here and it is amazing how one plays well in a place that you enjoy being in."

Sterne, Swede Johan Edfors, Marcus Fraser and Italy’s Francesco Molinari are the other players at seven under par.

Meanwhile the 50th anniversary of the UBS Hong Kong Open witnessed an historic moment when teenage amateur Jason Hak became the youngest ever player to make the cut at a European Tour event after successive 70s ensured he made it through to the weekend.

At 14 years and 304 days the youngster from Hong Kong beat the record set by current World Number Two Sergio Garcia by 107 days. Garcia was 15 years and 46 days when he made the cut in the 1995 Turespana Open Mediterrania, The Land of Valencia.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1LIN, Wen-tangTPE18-15
T1MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-15
T1MCILROY, RoryNIR18-15
T4PLAPHOL, ChawalitTHA18-13
T4LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-13
T6STEEL, IainMAS18-12
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