China's Jin leads by two as winds snuff out others' hopes
China's Jin battles to a 68 to lead by two, all six Singaporeans make cut
REPORTING FROM HONG KONG
It came in gusts, blowing over the hills of the bayside course in Hong Kong yesterday.
The winds snuffed out the hopes of some in the second round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), but there were a few who still shone.
Hong Kong's Matthew Cheung rode the winds at the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, carding the day's best score of six-under 64 for a two-day total of 135 to climb to within five shots of overnight leader Jin Cheng (68).
Australian pair Ryan Ruffels and Cameron Davis matched Cheung's 64 to join She Zihan in a three-way tie for third spot on seven-under 133, just one shot behind second-placed Takashi Ogiso (132).
With a two-day total of 130, Chinese teenager Jin may be two shots clear of the chasing pack, but the 17-year-old knows a win and the accompanying ticket to the 2016 US Masters is by no means a given.
"Today was way windier (than Thursday), and I was lucky that the wind picked up only on the back nine," he said. "I just have to focus on my own game and stay calm."
One golfer who fell victim to the windy conditions was Singapore's Gregory Foo.
Lying second after a 64 on Thursday, the 21-year-old trudged off the course yesterday with a four-over 74 to slip to 26th (138), but made the cut set at 143 that culled 58 of the 120-strong field.
Five other Singaporeans survived the cut, but Foo remains the closest to the top of the standings, eight shots off the pace.
"The problem was that there was a lack of commitment in some of my shots - there was a bit of doubt because it was windy," said Foo.
"I made some soft bogeys and I definitely didn't hole as many putts as I did (on Thursday). The main thing for me is to stay positive. There's still a lot of golf left to play."
Pre-tournament favourite Guan Tianlang, the 2012 AAC champion who was named the best amateur at the 2013 Masters as a 14-year-old, was also badly affected by yesterday's winds.
Starting on the back nine as the winds blew, Guan dropped eight shots in the first six holes but bounced back for a 73 to make the cut.
"I still think I've got a chance. The forecast is for more winds (over the next two days) and, if I can get a low score when it's pretty windy, I'll have a chance," said the 16-year-old Chinese.
130: Jin Cheng (Chn) 62-68
132: Takashi Ogiso (Jpn) 67-65
133: Ryan Ruffels (Aus) 69-64, She Zihan (Chn) 67-66, Cameron Davis (Aus) 69-64
134: Shohei Hasegawa (Jpn) 69-65, Sarit Suwannarut (Tha) 69-65, Ekpharit Wu (Tha) 67-67, Tang Rongjian (Chn) 65-69, Kim Tae Ho (Kor) 66-68
141: Guan Tianlang (Chn) 68-73
138: Gregory Foo 64-74; 139: James Leow 70-69; 140: Abdul Hadi 67-73; 142: Jerome Ng 70-72; 143: Joshua Shou 71-72, Joshua Ho 70-73.