Johnson surges ahead at WGC-HSBC Champions

Shanghai, Nov 1 (IANS) US golfer Dustin Johnson fired a record-equalling nine-under-par 63 to establish a five-shot advantage over the chasing pack after the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions Friday.

Major winner Bubba Watson and fellow American Boo Weekley shared second place with World No.6 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after the trio returned with matching seven-under-par 137 totals at the Sheshan International Golf Club. Ernie Els of South Africa is among six in tied-fifth on 138.
Starting his round in tied-eighth, four shots back of McIlroy, Johnson got off to a blistering start with six birdies in his first seven holes. After dropping his only shot of the day at the par-four 10th, the Ryder Cup star picked up four shots in his last six holes before signing for a 132 total.
“I’m definitely happy where I’m at. I’ve played really well the last two days. I’ve really driven the ball well and for me, that’s a big key. I don’t intend to play defensively. I just play my game which is pretty aggressive,” said Johnson.
Former World No.1 McIlroy, who started on the par-four first, reached the turn in 10-under after a hat-trick of birdies from the sixth hole. However, he struggled to create a single birdie opportunity on his way home and had to return those three shots after bogeys on holes 11, 15 and 18.
“Obviously I played nicely the front nine and then started to hit a lot of sloppy shots on the back. I missed seven greens on the back nine, so there’s a bit of work needed on the range,” said McIlroy.
China’s Liang Wen-chong and Korea’s Jin Jeong finished as the highest-placed Asians, carding rounds of 67 and 69, respectively.
Leaderboard:
132 – Dustin JOHNSON (USA) 69-63
137 – Bubba WATSON (USA) 68-69, Boo WEEKLEY (USA) 70-67, Rory MCILROY (NIR) 65-72
138 – Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-70, Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 70-68, Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTANO (ESP) 67-71, Ernie ELS (RSA) 69-69, Graeme MCDOWELL (NIR) 69-69, Ian POULTER (ENG) 71-67
139 – Jin JEONG (KOR) 70-69, LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 72-67, Phil MICKELSON (USA) 71-68, Justin ROSE (ENG) 68-71, Keegan BRADLEY (USA) 71-68, Graham DELAET (CAN) 71-68, Jordan SPIETH (USA) 68-71
140 – Billy HORSCHEL (USA) 71-69, Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 70-70, Jason DUFNER (USA) 73-67, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 69-71, Mark BROWN (NZL) 72-68
141 – Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 72-69, Luke DONALD (ENG) 70-71, Francesco MOLINARI (ITA) 72-69, Jamie DONALDSON (WAL) 67-74
142 – Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 72-70, Chris WOOD (ENG) 71-71, Paul CASEY (ENG) 69-73, Ken DUKE (USA) 70-72
143 – Kevin STREELMAN (USA) 70-73, Peter HANSON (SWE) 70-73, Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 75-68, Brian GAY (USA) 71-72, LI Hao Tong (CHN) 72-71, Scott HEND (AUS) 69-74, Derek ERNST (USA) 71-72
144 – David LYNN (ENG) 74-70, Rickie FOWLER (USA) 74-70, Darren FICHARDT (RSA) 70-74, Bill HAAS (USA) 72-72, Martin KAYMER (GER) 70-74, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 76-68, Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 71-73, Ryan MOORE (USA) 70-74, Bo VAN PELT (USA) 77-67, Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 71-73, HUANG WenYi (CHN) 70-74
145 – Hiroyuki FUJITA (JPN) 75-70, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 73-72, Jonas BLIXT (SWE) 70-75, Michael HENDRY (NZL) 72-73, Scott PIERCY (USA) 72-73, Jaco VAN ZYL (RSA) 72-73
146 – D.A. POINTS (USA) 72-74, Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 73-73, Michael THOMPSON (USA) 74-72, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 74-72, Jimmy WALKER (USA) 73-73
147 – John MERRICK (USA) 72-75, Richard STERNE (RSA) 74-73, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 69-78, David HOWELL (ENG) 72-75, Brandt SNEDEKER (USA) 73-74
148 – Daniel POPOVIC (AUS) 77-71, Branden GRACE (RSA) 77-71
149 – WU Ashun (CHN) 74-75, Nick WATNEY (USA) 75-74, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 81-68
150 – Henrik STENSON (SWE) 74-76
151 – Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 81-70, Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 75-76, HU Mu (CHN) 76-75
152 – Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 75-77, George COETZEE (RSA) 75-77
153 – Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN) 81-72
160 – HUANG Ming-Jie (CHN) 83-77