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Friday, 02 May 2014
Felipe Aguilar   (Getty Images)
Felipe Aguilar (Getty Images)
Felipe Aguilar produced a fine finish to his second round of The Championship at Laguna National to lie just a shot behind halfway leader Panuphol Pittayarat in Singapore.

Aguilar, whose only previous European Tour win came in neighbouring Indonesia six years ago, would have joined the Thai on 13 under par had his approach to the ninth, his last, dropped rather than lipped out.

However, a tap-in birdie there followed a putt from the fringe on the eighth and completed a closing hat-trick of gains as a second round 67 left the 39 year old tied for second with Scott Hend and David Lipsky on 12 under.

“I finished off with three birdies but it was a really cold start today,” said Aguilar.

“It took me a while to get the rhytym going and I had a couple of birdies and couple of bogeys. 

“Overall though it was a very good round and the last couple of holes I hit it stiff. I hit it close on 16, made a very good putt on the 17th and then hit the pin on the 18th hole, so I’m very happy. 

“When you chase the lead you have nothing to lose. We’ll see what happens this afternoon. 

“Tomorrow the tournament starts on moving day. You need to stay cool and patient here. 

“I’m really happy so far; if someone had offered me this score before the start of play I would have taken it. 

“I don’t have to go that deep on the weekend because I think the course will play a bit different and the fact that everyone wants to win will hurt some people. About eight or ten under will probably do it over the weekend.” 

The 21 year old Pittayarat had five birdies and a single bogey in his second round 68 to remain a shot ahead of the chasing pack; an opening 63 having put him in front overnight.

A first round 67 had left Hend four shots off the first round pace, but the 40 year old took advantage of more perfect scoring conditions with eight birdies in a 65, including approaches to within five feet at the first, fifth and eighth.

“Two more rounds to go and we will see what happens,” said Hend. 

“After yesterday, I am guessing the winning score will be around -24 to -28. Obviously it depends on the weather as well.

“I have to keep pushing on. There is no stopping for me. You can’t stop - there are too many good players out there.”

Hend, who won three times en route to finishing second on the co-sanctioning Asian Tour’s Order of Merit in 2013, and Aguilar were joined by American Lipsky, whose 68 saw him complete 36 holes without a dropped shot.

Dane Anders Hansen, who followed an opening 67 with a 66, India’s Rahil Gangjee and Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun were a shot further back in a tie for fifth.

Last week’s Volvo China Open winner Alex Levy reached the halfway stage on eight under, one ahead of defending champion Brett Rumford, while on five under England’s Nick Dougherty made his first cut on The European Tour for two years and only his third in his last 43 events.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1AGUILAR, FelipeCHI18-22
T2LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-21
T2HANSEN, AndersDEN18-21
4GANGJEE, RahilIND18-19
5WOOD, ChrisENG18-18
T6LAHIRI, AnirbanIND18-17

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