Steve Webster birdied his final three holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.
The Englishman entered the second round of the US$1.25 million event, which is co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the Asian Tour, on three under, five strokes adrift of leader Angelo Que of the Philippines.
But with the Filipino struggling in the blustery conditions at New Kuta Golf Club, Webster carded a second consecutive 69 to move into the lead on six under, one shot ahead of Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl (66), Jamie Donaldson of Wales (71) and English compatriot Simon Dyson (71).
Que followed his sparkling opening round 64 with six bogeys in a four over 76 which dropped him into a tie for fifth on four under with Scotland’s Scott Drummond (69), Gaurav Ghei of India (68), Korean Ted Oh (67), Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee (69) and the English trio of Ross McGowan (71), Miles Tunnicliff (71) and Simon Griffiths (70).
Defending champion Felipe Aguilar of Chile missed the cut of two over par after shooting a 75 to finish on five over with Nick Dougherty, who struggled on the back nine with a triple bogey, a double bogey and two bogeys in a round of 77.
Webster, who has made the cut in only two of his six European Tour events this season, was solid for much of his round, parring his first ten holes before bogeying the 11th to drop to two under.
But he bounced back immediately with a long birdie putt at the next hole, and finished strongly to take sole possession of the lead.
“I actually played some of my best golf on the front nine, without getting any real rewards,” said the 34 year old.
“Golf’s a strange game because I could’ve easily been four or five under par through nine, but instead I turned in level par. Then I three putted the 11th and I thought it was going to be one of those days.
“But I made a great birdie on the 12th with a 20-foot putt and all of a sudden I’m back in the game.
“The three birdies to finish were the icing on the cake really, but it was probably no more than I deserved after the way I played, because I was pretty consistent all day long.”
Having played a patient game for the last two days, Webster intends to maintain the same approach during the weekend as he attempts to win on Tour for the first time since the 2007 Portugal Masters.
“It’s a bit of a cliché, but I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and keep the ball on the golf course," he said.
“You can’t afford to get carried away or take liberties with the course because it’ll punish you.
“But I’m enjoying it so far and I’m looking forward to the weekend. If the weather holds up like this it’ll be nice.”
Huldahl bounced back from a disappointing finish to his first round to card the day’s best round of 66 which included seven birdies and just a single bogey.
“I finished my first round really poorly yesterday but today I played a little better. It was still not brilliant, but I’ve got to be happy with my score,” said the 26 year old who regained his European Tour card after finishing tenth on the Challenge Tour last year.
“I think I found almost every fairway, which always helps. I missed about two greens but scrambled the ones I missed, so it was a good day at the office.”
Dyson was one of 42 players who had to return early today to complete their first rounds following a two hour suspension of play yesterday due to heavy rain and the threat of lightning.
He struggled early on with bogeys on two of his first four holes but picked up four birdies and dropped only one more shot the rest of the way to put himself in contention for his second Indonesia Open title in four years.