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Friday, 09 February 2018
Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood and Brett Rumford will share the lead heading into the weekend after doing battle on day two of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.

The duo were paired together for the first two rounds at Lake Karrinyup Country Club and defending champion Rumford had the edge after day one as he opened up a two-shot lead.

It was Westwood who stole the show in difficult, windy conditions on Friday, however,  posting a 70 to join Perth native Rumford at eight under and the pair will once again be playing together for the final round of stroke play.

The top 24 - with the top eight seeded - after 54 holes will face each other in match play over six holes on Sunday, with five rounds of competition determining who will take home the trophy.

Rumford led after all three days of stroke play on his way to taking the inaugural crown last season and maintains his impressive record, while Westwood is in contention for the second week in a row after a good showing at the Maybank Championship.

Dane Thorbjørn Olesen fired a 67 to sit at seven under alongside Scot Grant Forrest, Thailand's Prom Meesawat and Australian Lucas Herbert.

"We both played well," said Westwood. "We haven't given too many shots away, made a few putts and I chipped in a couple of times. It's been fun over the first couple of days.

"I'm just trying to shoot as low as possible. I know if I carry on playing like I'm playing and a few putts start to go in, because I didn't really hole any putts today, I'll be thereabouts on the leaderboard.

"To be perfectly honest, match play is anybody's. You're going to need a lot of luck to win it."

Olesen and Herbert had set the clubhouse target at seven under in the morning, meaning Rumford held a one-shot lead when he teed off in the second wave alongside Westwood.

It's been fun over the first couple of days. I'm just trying to shoot as low as possible - Lee Westwood

The Englishman bogeyed the first but came back in spectacular style, chipping in on the fourth and repeating the trick on the sixth to get within one of Rumford who started with six pars.

A smart up-and-down from sand on the seventh briefly had Westwood in a share but Rumford followed him in on the par five to keep his nose in front.

Westwood put too much spin on his approach to the ninth, resulting in a bogey, and both of the leading duo then birdied the 11th, with Westwood almost making his fourth chip-in of the week.

A poor tee-shot on the 13th led to Rumford's first dropped shot of the day but Westwood also dropped a shot and the lead stayed at two.

It did not stay there for long, however, as Westwood hit a stunning approach to six feet to make an eagle on the par five 15th for the second day in a row.

A Rumford bogey after finding sand on the 17th handed Westwood the lead but the 44 year old returned the favour on the last.

"I'm happy to have signed for 72," said Rumford. "Happy to be tied for the lead and obviously happy that I'm in that top eight.

"You would have to lie to say that you're not aware of your opponent, but I'm not playing against [Westwood], I'm not changing my game plan or swing thoughts or nothing, I'm just playing golf."

Earlier, Olesen - a winner over this layout in 2014 - recovered from a bogey on the tenth with gains on the 11th, 12th, 14th, 16th, first and fourth.

Happy to be tied for the lead and obviously happy that I'm in that top eight - Brett Rumford

Forrest was out in the very last group of the day and after turning in 37, he birdied the 11th and 12th, holed his second on the par four 14th, and added another gain on the 16th.

Herbert signed for a 69 and Meesawat carded a 70 to sit a shot ahead of South African Zander Lombard.

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat had been at nine under before making four bogeys in a row from the third to sit at five under alongside Italian Andrea Pavan, Australians Adam Blyth, Anthony Quayle and Min Woo Lee, and American Sean Crocker.

Thai Pavit Tangkamolprasert made the fifth hole-in-one of the season on the 17th with a seven iron from 204 yards that helped him to three under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1BROWN, StevenENG09:30-
T1FAHRBRING, JensSWE09:30-
T1PILKADARIS, TerryAUS09:30-
T1KATAOKA, DaisukeJPN09:30-
T1ZUNIC, JordanAUS09:30-
T1MILLAR, MatthewAUS09:40-

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