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October 31, 2009

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Chopra surges ahead in the rain

SWEDEN'S Daniel Chopra fired a flawless six-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead after the second round of the Singapore Open yesterday following a second lengthy weather delay which put the tournament well behind schedule.

Chopra was one of only 61 players to finish their second rounds after another stop-start day at the Sentosa Golf Club and his seven-under total put him two shots clear of those who have completed 36 holes.

First-round leader Ian Poulter and Chinese Taipei qualifier Chan Yih-shin are also on seven-under for the tournament but both have yet to reach the turn and will return with a majority of the field to complete their second rounds this morning.

Australia's Andrew Dodt and China's Liang Wenchong are two shots off the lead on five-under after both recorded three-under 69s, along with Japan's Kodai Ichihara, who has only completed six holes of his second round.

Ernie Els is a further shot adrift after three holes of his second round, the South African joining Briton Ross McGowan (69), India's Gaganjeet Bhullar (67) and Australia's Scott Hend (66) in a share of seventh place.

Chopra walked off the course in near darkness on Thursday after limping through eight holes of his opening round in two-over-par. But he returned early yesterday and played 28 holes of bogey-free golf to rocket to the top of the leaderboard.

Starting his second round on one-under for the tournament, the 35-year-old Swede went out in 32 to move into contention and pulled clear of the chasing pack with back-to-back birdies on six and seven.

In Incheon, South Korea, Anna Grzebien and Meaghan Francella shot rounds of six-under 66 in wet but comfortable conditions yesterday to share the first-round lead of the KOLON Championship.

LPGA Tour money leader Shin Ji-yai didn't disappoint her home fans, shooting a bogey-free five-under 67 to finish a stroke off the pace. Shin is in a tie for third along with four other players, including 19-year-old American Vicky Hurst.

German Grzebien was able to shoot a 66 under ideal weather conditions at Sky 72 Golf Club's Ocean Course just west of Seoul.

Francella of the United States praised the condition of the putting greens. "The greens were one of the best, if not, the best that we've seen all year," said Francella, who is looking for her first win since 2007.


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