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Liang stays firm at the top

October 10, 2008 20:03 IST

Chinese star Liang Wen-chong remained firmly at the top of the leaderboard after firing a one-under-par 71 in the second round at the Hero Honda Indian Open on Friday.

Liang, who posted a record 60 on Thursday, produced a 13-under-par 131 total for a comfortable five-stroke lead over Sweden's Daniel Chopra, who shot a 70 in second place at the Delhi Golf Club.

Australia's Adam Blyth and India's Ashok Kumar posted matching 67s to lie in joint third spot alongside Chinese Taipei's Lu Wen-teh who carded a 71 for a 137 total in the US$1 million Asian Tour event.

Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk blasted a superb 61 and was in the mix in sixth spot.

Liang, who was the Asian Tour's Order of Merit winner last year, kept his five stroke cushion in the second round after six birdies against five bogeys.

"I feel good about my game.  I had a good start on the front nine with four birdies but lost my concentration on the back nine. After my bogey on the 10th hole, I wanted to bounce back and continue to push hard. But I lost my concentration and my putting was not very good and I didn't feel good off the tee.

"There are still two more days to go so I have to keep it steady. I will head out and practice my short game and putting. This course is not easy and I can easily land myself in trouble. There are a lot of good players here like Jeev (Milkha Singh) and Daniel (Chopra) who can catch up so I hope to do my best over the weekend," said the Zhongshan-born leader.

Starting on the back nine, Chopra nailed four birdies after nine holes before closing with a double bogey on the eighth.

"I had a flawless front nine, but on the back nine I made one bad tee shot on the eighth and paid a big price with a double bogey. Frankly, I played much better than what the score suggests.

"It is generally an intimidating golf course and I never thought I would be here to play in a tournament where someone scores a 60. Then I see an 11-under on day two from a Dutch pro, Guido. Its awesome," said Chopra.

Van Der Valk recorded his best performance in his golfing career thanks to an eagle and nine birdies.

"I was hitting it close and I found the fairways today. But it can be costly out there. Just like yesterday, I found the rough twice which cost me two double bogeys. I can't afford to miss the fairways here.

"It's my first time playing on this course and I'm enjoying myself.  I shot a five over yesterday and I was telling myself to shoot a five under today to be even-par and make the cut. So I wasn't expecting this which is a pleasant surprise" said Van Der Valk.

Local player Jeev Milkha Singh slipped to a tie for 17th place after a 74 today while defending champion Jyoti Randhawa shot a 69 and was in joint 48th place.

"I had a great start with two birdies but then I lost some confidence in my putting. I missed a short four-putt on the fourth and then the putting was the not same. I kept hanging in there," said Singh.

Local amateurs H.S Kang, Moin Malak and Manav Das were among the 81 players who made the weekend rounds.

Leading second round scores

131 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 60-71

136 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 66-70

137 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-67, Ashok Kumar (IND) 70-67, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 66-71

138 - Sanjay Kumar (IND) 66-72, Mars Pucay (PHI) 71-67, Unho Park (AUS) 67-71, Mark Brown (NZL) 71-67, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 72-66, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 77-61, Muhammad Munir (PAK) 69-69, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 69-69, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 72-66, Steven Tiley (ENG) 72-66, Harinder Gupta (IND) 70-68

139 - Chang Tse-peng (TPE) 68-71, Mahal Pearce (NZL) 71-68, Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 69-70, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-74

140 - Darren Beck (AUS) 70-70, Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 67-73, Jaiveer Virk (IND) 71-69, Gavin Flint (AUS) 69-71.