Fleetwood hits the front before delay

4/26/2013 2:35:00 AM
Tommy Fleetwood   (Getty Images)
Tommy Fleetwood (Getty Images)

Tommy Fleetwood built on the momentum he gained on the opening day of the Ballantine’s Championship by moving into the lead in the early stages of the second round before another suspension in play in Korea.

Despite waking up at 4.30am, the in-form Englishman showed few signs of fatigue as he made a solid par on the 18th hole to finally complete his delayed opening round with a four under par score of 68.

After a quick turnaround, Fleetwood started his second round and promptly birdied the 13th hole – his fourth – to move to five under par alongside the quintet of overnight leaders. He then dropped a shot on the 17th but eagled the 18th to move to the top of the leaderboard.

A birdie followed on the first but gave that shot back immediately with a bogey on the second, before another birdie on the fifth meant he moved back to seven under par for the tournament.

However, thunder and lightning at Blackstone Golf Club meant that Fleetwood's progress was once again halted - just as it was in the latter stages of the first round - with play suspended at 1.10pm. It was due to resume at 2.30pm, with Fleetwood left to play two more holes.

Fleetwood won the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2011 but struggled to replicate that form in his maiden European Tour season last year, leaving it until the last tournament to ensure he retained his playing privileges.

But the 22 year old has really found his form on the top tier this term, recording top two ten finishes to climb to 59th place in The Race to Dubai.

Speaking after his first round, the Southport man said: “I hit it really well yesterday. I actually hit it well last week as well, but just didn’t really score well. 

“I had a good day on the range yesterday, and then took it out onto the course with me. To birdie the first was the perfect start, then I had a stretch of pars where I was hitting it really well but just couldn’t get a putt to drop – even though the longest one was from about 15 feet.

“Some days you’re pushing it or pulling it towards the pin, but I wasn’t. It was a shame that I had to stop last night, because I felt I had a lot of momentum going. So it wasn’t ideal to come back this morning with just one hole left to play, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the 4.30am alarm call! It’s going to be a long day, but hopefully a good one.”

Louis Oosthuizen, the World Number Seven, made a solid start to his second round, opening with eight consecutive pars after starting on the tenth tee. Having started on three under par, the 2010 Open Champion picked up his first shot of the day on the 18th hole and picked up a further shot on the third hole to move to five under par through 14 holes, two shots back, alongside Australian Wade Ormsby and Englishman Lee Slattery.

Co-leaders Matthew Baldwin, Johan Edfors, Kim Gi-whan, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet and Kieran Pratt, who all signed for rounds of 67 on the weather-affected opening day, are amongst the afternoon starters.