Denmark’s Thomas Björn picked up where he left off on Thursday when the second round of the Barclays Singapore Open was completed at Sentosa GC to regain the outright lead.
The leader after the opening day having shot 66, Björn did not hit a shot all day on Friday due to weather delays, and as he finally took to the course this morning he had been usurped at the top by South African George Coetzee and England’s Chris Wood.
A birdie at the second brought the 41 year old within one of the lead, and he did well to save par two holes later after driving into water.
Björn caught Coetzee and Wood with a six footer at the 11th, sent a brilliant iron approach to five feet at the 12th and converted for the outright lead, then doubled his advantage two holes later from 20 feet.
Four straight pars to finish gave the 13-time European Tour winner – who had three victories last season but is yet to register this term – a four under par 67 and nine under total.
“This course can very quickly bite you, especially if you don’t drive the ball well,” said Björn. “The numbers can run up on this golf course, so you’ve got to stay with what you’re doing.
“I’ve enjoyed these two days, and it’s nice to play some good stuff but there’s still a long way to go in this golf tournament.
“I’ve got two good rounds in the bank but there’s a way to go.”
Earlier perennial bridesmaids Coetzee and Wood had both improved their chances of a maiden victory on The European Tour.
Both players have had 17 top ten finishes without entering the winner’s circle, but Coetzee had a run of five straight birdies from the 18th, his ninth, en route to a best-of-the week 63.
Wood had his maiden professional victory in Thailand in August and the 24 year old birdied four of his last five holes for a second round 65.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari birdied the eighth – his 17th – upon the resumption and as a result advanced to six under with a 67, with overnight joint-leader Simon Dyson dropping back to five under, alongside Australian Adam Scott.
The other overnight leader, Thai Chapchai Nirat, started the day with a birdie but bogeyed the sixth and double bogeyed the seventh to slip back into a large group on four under.
World Number One and Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy reached the halfway stage two under par after a second consecutive 70, while American four-time Major Champion Phil Mickelson made the cut on the mark at one over.