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Birdie blitz hands Wiesberger lead in Malaysia

Birdie blitz hands Wiesberger lead in Malaysia

Bernd Wiesberger produced a remarkable run of nine birdies in a row as he fired a 63 to take the second-round lead at the Maybank Championship.

Bernd Wiesberger

The 31 year old entered day two at Saujana Golf and Country Club six shots off the lead but that incredible sequence of gains from the seventh to the 15th got him to 12 under and handed him a one-shot lead over Masters Tournament champion Danny Willett.

No other player in European Tour history had ever made nine consecutive birdies in the same round but, with preferred lies in place this week, Wiesberger will not take his place in the history books.

That is unlikely to take the gloss off a brilliant performance, however, as he goes in search of a fourth European Tour victory.

"I really tried to cut down on the shots, it was really warm out there this afternoon," he said.

"I felt a bit beside myself to be honest, I just kept it going, I felt like I was on a good run and I felt comfortable pretty much the whole day after my bogey on four.

"I hit really good shots and I just felt calm out there. It felt kind of natural, I hit pretty good shots and really only holed two long ones which were the last birdie of the nine on 15 and about a 20-footer on 11.

"Apart from that I just hit them pretty close and felt like I had a good idea of what the ball was going to do on the green today again which was nice."

Willett followed up his opening 66 with a 67 to sit at 11 under, two shots clear of Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and American David Lipsky.

Marc Warren entered the day with a two-shot lead and while Lipsky caught him in the morning session, the Scotsman soon moved clear again and looked to be in imperious form.

I hit really good shots and I just felt calm out there. It felt kind of natural - Bernd Wiesberger

He birdied the 13th and 17th, went close to further gains on the first and second, and when he put his approach to five feet on the third, he had a three-shot lead.

By that point Wiesberger had already started his remarkable charge through the field, making six birdies in a row from the seventh courtesy of some stunning approach play and when Warren missed the fourth green to the left, the lead was down to two.

Wiesberger got to the side of the green on the par five 13th in two for another gain and when Warren made it back-to-back bogeys, the Austrian took the lead on the 14th.

The run looked like it may end on the 15th when Wiesberger left himself 25 feet from the fringe but he rolled that one in for a staggering ninth birdie in a row.

Warren dropped a third shot in four holes on the seventh and Willett was Wiesberger's nearest challenger two shots back.

The Englishman was level for the day stood on the ninth tee but put his approach to tap-in range, birdied from eight feet on the tenth and made lengthy putts on the 12th and 14th to get to ten under.

Wiesberger's birdie run ended on the 16th and when he went over the back of the 17th green and failed to get up and down, the lead was down to one.

A closing birdie re-established the cushion but Willett followed suit, holing a 30-footer after finding trouble off the tee.

Lorenzo-Vera made six birdies and an eagle in his 65, while Lipsky was bogey-free in his 67 with birdies on the first, fifth, sixth, seventh and 17th.

K.T. Kim and Shubhankar Sharma were then at eight under after rounds of 68, a shot clear of Sam Brazel, Shiv Kapur, Anirban Lahiri, Alexander Levy, Matteo Manassero, James Morrison and Marcel Siem.

Warren finished with a triple-bogey to sit in the group at six under.

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