The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Johl still on top, Kahlon follows
- MACAU OPEN - World No. 8 Padraig Harrington moves up to joint 5th despite bizarre bogey on 7th hole

Macau: India’s Amandeep Johl battled winds to preserve his one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the $275,000 Macau Open on a day when Irish star Padraig Harrington moved up the leaderboard with a round that included a bizarre bogey.

Johl, who set a new course record on Thursday with 62, carded a second round two-under-par 69 in the Asian Tour event at Macau Golf and Country Club, which finally bared its teeth after Thursday’s benign conditions.

Harrington, the world No. 8, endured some high drama en route to a 67. On the tight par four seventh hole, he had to hit three provisional balls due to wayward shots that found trouble. He eventually found his first ball, which was unplayable, and settled for a bogey five.

He ended the day with a 136 aggregate, in joint fifth with Australian Scott Barr .

“I had one mishap. On the seventh, I had four balls in play at one stage and then I made bogey on that hole. So, I actually played five different golf balls and then I made a five. That must be a record,” said Harrington, whose two-day total of 136 is five behind the leader.

To cap his day, Harrington broke his five iron trying to get out of trouble from behind a tree on the 15th before finishing with a flourish, holing a 25-footer for birdie on the 17th and then an eight foot birdie at the last.

“It was nice to birdie the last two holes to keep me in touch. Five back after 36 holes is not far behind. Another two rounds like that and I should be close enough. Yesterday was perfect conditions and I shot two under. To shoot four under on a tough day was very pleasing,” he said.

Johl, searching for his first Asian Tour title, battled gallantly to keep himself ahead of compatriot Harmeet Kahlon, who carded a second straight 66 to move into second place.

“The Indians are doing well, huh'” said Johl after his round. “It’s good to see Harmeet up there. I was his senior in school and we’ve played against each other a lot.”

With the wind swirling across the par 71 course, Johl had to save par on his opening four holes before dropping his first bogey on the 14th, his fifth hole of the day. He recovered immediately with a birdie on 15 and reeled in four birdies against two more dropped shots on his inward nine.

“The course showed its teeth today,” said Johl. “It was hard judging the distances and in my first four holes, I had to get up and down for pars. Overall, I’m happy with my round and it’s a good position to be in.

Kahlon, winner of the Hero Honda Masters in 2002, was impressive with seven birdies, including two chip-ins, and missed an 18-footer on the 17th hole to tie Johl. “I’m playing well and I’m mentally strong,” the 33-year-old said.

American Jason Knutzon and South African Nico Van Rensburg ended the day two back on 133 while Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, Korean-American David Kang, Taiwanese veteran Wang Ter-chang and Vivek Bhandari of India are joint fifth, four off the lead.

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