Robert-Jan Derksen and Gregory Bourdy spurned the chance to establish a one shot lead after the second round of the UBS Hong Kong Open as they both carded closing bogeys to open up a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.
Derksen had stood on the ninth tee, his last, with a one shot lead over a chasing pack at nine under par, however he could only bogey the tough 474 yard par four hole and ended signing for a 68.
Bourdy too headed to his last hole at Hong Kong Golf Club on ten under par but could only bogey the 410 yard par four 18th to card a 67 that left him tied with Derksen, Charl Schwartzel and Liang Wen-chong on nine under par.
“I was consistent but I made a double bogey on the eighth and bogey on the 18th which was a shame with three putts,” Bourdy admitted afterwards.
“There are plenty of positives to take into the last two rounds and if I keep playing like this I will be okay on Sunday.”
Bourdy was also caught off guard by the cold conditions in Fanling, which were in stark contrast to temperatures on the opening day.
“I didn't expect this cold when I got up this morning and didn't bring a pullover. Just at the end it got freezing and played quite long. We had some big irons to hit and you have to adapt.”
Fellow leader Derksen was left frustrated as he finished with a pair of bogeys to sour what had been a solid round. After initially double bogeying the 11th hole, his second, he replied with six birdies before his poor finish.
“I didn't play as well as yesterday and didn't drive as well which got me into trouble,” he said.
“It was a bad drive [on 11] and got punished badly, I made a good six in the end.
“You can't shoot 63 every day so I’m pleased with the score. I bogeyed the last two holes but nine was a tough hole, it was getting cold and it is a long shot into a narrow green so bogey is not a bad score.”
Derksen and Bourdy’s profligacy leaves them tied with Schwartzel and Liang Wen-chong. Schwartzel, whose last win on The European Tour came at the Madrid Masters in 2008, added a 66 to his opening round 65 to stay in the hunt.
“I am right where you want to be after two rounds,” he said
“If I can keep doing what I am doing it will be an exciting finish. I didn't start the day ideally as I three putted the first but came back well with a birdie and gave myself a lot of opportunities from then on.”
A shot back on eight under par were Rory Sabbatini and Chinnarat Phadungsil, the pair carding a 67 and 66 respectively.
Further down the leaderboard on seven under par were a group headed by defending champion Lin Wen-Tang, whose one under par 69 left him level with Scott Strange, David Dixon, YE Yang and Danny Chia.
Morning starter Chia, whose fine 66 included six birdies, also admitted conditions played more of a role than on the opening day.
“I think we had all kinds of weather over the last four days from hot to cool to cold like today,” he said.
“It definitely made a difference to how you plan for your round, but I hit a lot of fairways these two days and I guess that's the key when you play in a golf course like this.”
Rory McIlroy, currently battling with Lee Westwood for the top spot in The Race To Dubai, edged out his rival further to sit in a tie for 12th thanks to a round of 68 that leaves him six under par.
The 20 year old holds a two stroke lead over Westwood, who managed a par round of 70 to sit four under par overall, and is looking to further increase his advantage heading into the weekend.
“I am in the tournament and I can get right in there if I shoot a good front nine [on Saturday],” he said.
“I played really well, the putts just stopped dropping on the back nine.”