Jin Cheng maintains 2-stroke lead at Asia-Pacific Amateur
HONG KONG (AP) First-round leader Jin Cheng of China maintained a two-stroke lead at the Asia-Pacific Amateur on Friday after a 2-under 68 in the second round at Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club.
The 17-year-old Jin had a 36-hole total of 10-under 130. Takashi Ogiso of Japan shot 65 to sit in second place going into the weekend on the picturesque peninsula course that overlooks the South China Sea.
Australians Cameron Davis and Ryan Ruffels, each with 64s, were in a group tied for third, three behind Jin. Ruffels is the lowest-ranked amateur in the tournament at No. 8.
Hong Kong-born Matthew Cheung also had a 64 to move into contention, five strokes behind Jin and tied for 11th.
Cheung, who was raised in Brisbane, Australia, and attends Oklahoma City University, enjoyed the gallery support during a round that included five birdies, a bogey on 17 and an eagle on the par-5 18th.
”I was born here, a lot of my family and friends are here, and I still consider this home,” Cheung said. ”I hit the ball terribly yesterday and was able to scrap it around, but I found something in practice and was able to hole some putts. I felt good out there.”
The weather forecast for the weekend is for gusty winds and showers. On Friday, the wind subsided in the early afternoon after a gusty morning, then increased again late in the afternoon.
”Hopefully it doesn’t get too wet, but I’m used to playing in the wind, so if it blows like it’s forecast to I’m not going to be concerned at all,” Cheung said.
Nick Voke of New Zealand, who completed his first-round 64 on Friday morning due to a thunderstorm delay Thursday, shot a second-round 71 and was at 5 under, level with Cheung.
Defending champion Antonio Murdaca of Australia shot 70 Friday and was 1 under.
”People are losing balls left and right,” Murdaca, who won last year at Royal Melbourne, said of the tough morning conditions.
Guan Tianlang of China, the 2012 champion, shot 73 Friday and was at 1-over 141, two inside the cutline of 3 over. Former U.S. Amateur champion Yang Gunn of South Korea was also at 1 over after a 72.
The tournament champion receives an invitation to next year’s Masters. The champion and runner-up receive a place in the final round of qualifying for the 2016 British Open at Royal Troon.