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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hurd snatches lead at Pakistan Open

Hurd snatches lead at Pakistan Open

January 19, 2007 19:41 IST
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England's Simon Hurd continued his inspirational run in the second round after a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 at the Pakistan Open on Friday.

After a consistent opening round, Hurd remained calm and collected with six birdies for an 11-under-par 133 total at the US $300,000 event.

Malaysia's Airil Rizman Zahari is in lone second position after a 68 two strokes off the pace.

Australia's Scott Hend, who is a former US PGA Tour player, was joint third when he improved with a 66 at the Karachi Golf Club to tie alongside Scotsman Barry Hume and India's Uttam Singh Mundy, as both players fired matching 68s for a 136 total.

Ashok Kumar shot six birdies for a 66 as the Indian talent stood in sixth spot on 137.

Local player Muhammad Shabbir slid down the ranks as he was even-par for the day to a 138 total in joint seventh place.

"The deciding factor for me is that I had time off from the game. I am coming here with a free mind now and just play the game with a smile on my face, and enjoying it," said Hurd, who shot birdies on the second, seventh, ninth holes.

He was on a roll with three straight birdies on the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes and ended his commanding run with a final birdie at the 16th hole.

"I hit 16 greens in regulation today which was the same as yesterday and if I keep doing that, I should be in for a good chance to finish well," he said.

"I can't wait to speak to my wife and baby girl over the phone again today. They probably won't believe it," added Hurd, who celebrated the birth of his first child last month.

Thanks to steady putting, Airil was spot on when he fired six birdies against two bogeys.

"I'm quite satisfied. I hit so many greens out there," said Airil.

"I just hope to do my best this week and not focus too much on anything else. My putting has been really good and that is why I am doing well here.

"I want to take is easy and go as low as I can in the remaining two days and see what the outcome is. But overall, I am definitely very pleased," added Airil.

South African Craig Kamps was in sheer delight when he made it past the third round with a 142 total in joint 36th place. Struggling with a neck injury in 2005, Craig, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, had not made the cut since his season-ending event in 2004. He had previously missed the cut in 31 consecutive events before his even-par performance today.

"Last month, I was contemplating if I should carry on playing this season until my family, my wife (Brenda) especially, encouraged me to carry on. So I am extremely happy to be where I am today," said Craig.

"Thanks to my entire family and all my relatives, I stayed on and never gave up. They have been so supportive. My neck is 99 percent recovered and I know that this is a sign of better things to come in the future so I am really looking forward to it," he added.

Using a six iron, Kao Bo-song shot the tournament's first hole-in-one at the par three 13th hole. The Chinese Taipei talent earned a brand new Toyota Corolla Altis for his feat.

Leading second round scores:

133 - Simon Hurd (ENG) 68-65
135 - Airil Rizman Zahari (MAS) 67-68
136 - Scott Hend (AUS) 70-66, Uttam Singh Mundy (IND) 68-68, Barry Hume (SCO) 68-68
137 - Ashok Kumar (IND) 71-66
138 - Shane Baxter (AUS) 70-68, Olle Nordberg (SWE) 72-66, Muhammad Shabbir (PAK) 66-72, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 71-67, Yeh Chang-ting (TPE) 69-69
139 - Lin Chien-bing (TPE) 69-70, Gavin Flint (AUS) 71-68, Tony Lascuna (PHI) 70-69, Mark Mouland (WAL) 70-69, Imdad Hussain (PAK) 70-69, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 69-70, Jarrod Moseley (AUS) 72-67
140 - Richard Lee (NZL) 68-72, Guido Van Der Valk (NLD) 72-68, Simon Griffiths (ENG) 73-67, Jim Seki (USA) 71-69, Vivek Bhandari (IND) 68-72, Amardip Malik (IND) 69-71, Rick Gibson (CAN) 69-71, Digvijay Singh (IND) 71-69.

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