Defending champion Lee Westwood continues as joint leader in Kuala Lumpur
Lee Westwood continues as joint leader of the Maybank Malaysian Open after day two. However whereas after day one he shared the lead with Graeme McDowell, now it is with Alejandro Cañizares. The pair are three ahead of the field which is spearheaded by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who is alone in third.
A closing birdie from 20ft on the last for the second day running briefly sent Westwood pull three shots clear. But Cañizares himself made a 20ft putt for birdie on 15, and added more birdies at 16 and 18 for a round of 65, the lowest so far in this year’s event.
“It was a lot of fun and I played really well,” said 32-year-old Cañizares. “I wasn’t so good off the tee today, but I putted really well. I made some great up-and-downs when I missed a shot, and I’m very happy overall. I can’t wait for the weekend – it will be a lot of fun.” Cañizares has shot in the 60s in eight of his last 10 rounds.
Westwood who won the Malaysian Open by seven shots in 2014 reflected: “I was leading this time last year, and I’m leading again. I feel like I’m capable of a lot of low scores, my swing is getting towards where I want it, and I’m feeling comfortable on the greens.”
Bernd Wiesberger, alone in third spot, three shots back, heads the chasing pack. He shot a 66 to continue his run of fine form, having finished tied for sixth, third, and tied for fourth in the Desert Swing. “Sometimes you get in a groove and play well and things happen for you, and I just hope it lasts a long time,” said Wiesberger.
Graeme McDowell had an erratic round with four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey in his 73 which sent him tumbling down to 8th.
Paul Lawrie is tied with Paul Waring in fourth, four shots behind the leaders. Lawrie, is only playing in the event through a sponsors’ invite having lost his tour card last year.
“I’ve been in the doldrums for the past 20-odd months,” he admitted. “I’ve struggled with a lot of swing changes and confidence, but my confidence is coming back. Yesterday and today I played flawless golf. It’s tough being on sponsors’ invites the whole time. You’re writing begging letters, being a sole trader that I am and not with a big management group, so it’s difficult but I’ll keep trying. When I get the opportunities it’s great to play well.”