Friday, 04 November 2011
Fredrik Jacobson  (Getty Images)
Fredrik Jacobson (Getty Images)

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Fredrik Jacobson continued his recent good form to take a one shot halfway lead at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

The 37 year old, whose three European Tour titles all came back in 2003, won his first US PGA Tour title earlier this season and finished third last week in Malaysia.

Two behind American Keegan Bradley overnight, the Swede eradicated the deficit with an outward 32 – a 12 foot putt on the 16th completing a hattrick of gains.

A five footer at the seventh gave him his first birdie on the way in and the outright lead, before Jacobson finished his round by holing a 20 foot birdie putt for a six under par 66 and 11 under total.

“I think I've just been striking the ball really well,” he said. “I've been driving the ball really well over these first two days. 

“I got a new driver from Callaway a couple of weeks ago and started with it last week. They are coming out with a new model and it just seems to work really well. I've been hitting it a little bit further than before - I think last week there was not much run in the fairways and this course is playing pretty long sometimes. I feel I've been having pretty good distance off the tees, and if I can hit it straight, which I have so far, I'm going to get some good looks with my irons.”

Jacobson’s bogey-free round put him one clear of 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and Australian Adam Scott.

Scott, winner of the last WGC event in Akron in August, went one better than Jacobson with a 65, but South African Oosthuizen had the round of the day - a nine under 63.

It looked set to be another great day for US PGA Champion Bradley when he rolled in a 40 foot eagle putt on the second and a ten footer for birdie two holes later.

But the 25 year old had his first bogey of the tournament after he missed the ninth green, dropped another shot at the short 17th and needed a closing birdie to be two behind after a 70.

England's Paul Casey was in joint fifth spot with American Bo Van Pelt after a 66 and World Number Two Lee Westwood - runner-up to Francesco Molinari last year - had a 68 to be part the group one further back.

World Number Three Rory McIlroy had seven birdies, but there were also four bogeys on his card and he has six strokes to make up.

The 22 year old US Open Champion three-putted the 12th from no great distance and, going for the green on the 288 yard 16th, he found the hazard on the right and bogeyed again.

Jacobson has been mostly based in the States in recent years, but could be set to feature more often in Europe to try and secure a place on José María Olazábal’s Ryder Cup side.

He said: "It's been a great couple of days. I feel I've been striking the ball well and I've been setting up a lot of chances out there."

The World Number 54 could go top of Europe's Ryder Cup standings with a win and said: "I haven't decided yet on the schedule for next year exactly.

"I think it's going to depend a little bit on how I play. I'm starting to get into a lot of the tournaments where I can create points both on the European list and when it comes to world ranking points.

"But first things first, and that's to keep getting better and keep playing well. That's what my goal is.

"I had a hard time with the sleep and the jet-lag last week. I was sleeping in shifts for three hours here and two hours here.

"It was very difficult to have a 12-hour change like that. I've never been great at it and it probably took me a good six days before I slept for a full night."

Casey, who has been battling a foot injury this year and also fell ill recently, commented: "That was one of the best rounds of golf I've had in a long time.

"The golf I played today is the golf I remember playing. I've been trying to keep that right foot down as long as possible - it doesn't hurt as much and it makes a massive difference.

"I can suddenly control where the golf ball is going."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KAYMER, MartinGER18-20
2JACOBSON, FredrikSWE18-17
3MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-16
T4CASEY, PaulENG18-15
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