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Friday October 25, 2013 MYT 7:23:00 PM
Friday October 25, 2013 MYT 7:35:05 PM
White hot putter. Keegan Bradley sank seven birdies en route to a six-under 66 in the second round of the CIMB Classic to finish top of the leaderboard at 13-under 131. - The STAR
AMERICAN Keegan Bradley rode on a second nine surge to take a four-shot halfway lead after a superb six-under 66 at the US$7mil (RM22.4mil) CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
The 27-year-old Bradley, winner of the 2011 PGA Championship, wielded his hot putter to sink seven birdies, including five on his homeward stretch, to end the second round on 13-under 131 on Friday.
Overnight leader Ryan Moore of the United States battled to an even 72 for outright second while Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, made his presence felt on the leaderboard with a 69 for a share of third with American Chris Stroud on 136.
A superb seven-under 65 hauled Australian Marc Leishman back into contention as he shared fifth spot on 137 alongside Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who ground out a 71 at the West course.
Bradley started with a seven-under 65 on Thursday and was delighted to have put himself in prime spot to land the top prize of US$1.26mil (RM3.98mil) on Sunday.
“Yeah, these last two rounds were really fun. Some of the best golf I’ve played in a long time. Obviously, I’m in a great spot here with two rounds to go,” said the world No. 15.
After a winless season on the PGA Tour, Bradley put in the hours to sharpen his short game and his hard work has now yielded two impressive rounds in Malaysia.
“I worked very hard these last couple weeks ... a lot of short game, a lot of chipping.
“I felt as in control of my golf ball today as maybe I’ve ever felt. So, that’s a really good sign on this golf course. When I’m hitting the ball like this and my putter kind of matches up, normally I’m going to be right in there contending,” said the optimistic Bradley, who is also anxiously looking out for the result of his beloved baseball team Boston Red Sox, who are now playing in the World Series.
The Red Sox are currently tied 1-1 with the St Louis Cardinals.
“I do wonder what’s going on (in the World Series). I know my mom at home was flipping back and forth watching. My girlfriend, Jillian, is a big Red Sox fan too and she was giving me updates as best as she could.
“It’s tough that we don’t get to watch the World Series as I am out there (playing). I know they’ll replay it later but it’s more fun knowing what’s going on,” said Bradley.
The American intends to stick to the same game plan in the next two rounds.
“Keep playing the same, being aggressive. There are a lot of great players in this field who are going to be chasing me. So, for me to go out and shoot a good round tomorrow (Saturday) is going to be very important for Sunday,” he said.
Stroud, seeking his first career victory, produced a bogey-free card to stay within striking distance of Bradley with a 69.
However, he will be disappointed to have missed several birdie opportunities.
“I left a few out there. I missed a few more fairways today (Friday). But if you hit the fairways out there, you can make a lot of birdies. But you got to make the putts as well. I also left a few out there but I am in a good position, that’s all I can ask for,” said the 32-year-old.
“It’s a great test of golf (referring to the course). The greens are actually nice and firm.
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