Marcus Fraser will take a one-stroke lead into Sunday’s third-round shootout at the Ballantine’s Championship with Ernie Els just two shots off the pace after the second round was completed on Saturday.
The $2.9 million European and Asian Tour event was reduced to 56 holes after six hours of play were lost to heavy fog on Jeju island on Thursday.
Leader by the same margin after the first round, Australian Fraser shot a steady two-under-par 70 on Saturday to add to his superb seven birdie opening 65 and move to nine-under for the tournament.
That kept him a shot ahead of Thailand’s defending champion Thongchai Jaidee and Argentine Tano Goya, who both played almost two full rounds on Friday at the Pinx Golf Club, as well as Briton Gareth Maybin, who shot a 68 on Saturday.
Three-times major winner Els scattered four birdies and a bogey across his round to card a 69 and the South African shares fifth with South Korean Ted Oh and Australian Brett Rumford.
World number 17 Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Singapore’s Mardan Mammat both eagled the par-five fourth and 10th holes on a day of otherwise high scoring, but ended up with 70s for a share of 10th and eighth respectively.
Korean-American Anthony Kim, playing in his first tournament since finishing third at the U.S. Masters, had a day to forget when he blew up spectacularly after a promising start.
The world number 10 opened with four birdies in his first six holes but a run of bogey/double bogey/double bogey before the turn sent him plummeting down the leaderboard and he will go into the final round seven shots off the pace.
U.S. PGA Championship winner Yang Yong-eun must have been resigned to missing the cut after 35 holes of golf on his home island on Friday left him at six-over-par.
The early departure of Asia’s first major winner and the champion at the China Open last week was confirmed on Saturday when the cut was set at one-over.
(Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Beijing; Editing by John O’Brien; To comment on this story email email@example.com)