Song hits right notes to grab clubhouse lead

Fresh-faced Song Younghan sizzled to an eight-under-par 63 that saw him snatch the clubhouse lead before bad weather caused the second round of the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open to be called off on Friday.

The second round will resume at 7.30am on Saturday with 78 players, including world number one and tournament favourite Jordan Spieth, still to finish their second rounds.

Spieth, followed by huge galleries, was par for his round and four under for the tournament after six holes when play was halted.

“That’s golf, that’s weather, you can’t control that. I could tell it was bad on other parts of the course,” said Spieth, who faces a seven-foot birdie putt on the seventh hole.

“I didn’t get off to a great start but made a good birdie on number two then had a couple of bad putts.

“I missed a short one on number four. On seven I got a bit unlucky. I had a perfect distance to the hole, the par five, and just when I hit my second the wind changed.

“My ball came up just short of the green and when I went to play my putt that’s when the rain came in hard almost horizontally. My putt came up seven feet short.”

Before the conditions worsened, Song carded seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey to establish a two-shot advantage over Japan’s Shintaro Kobayashi with his two-day total of nine-under-par 133 at Sentosa Golf Club.

Song, runner-up twice on the Japan Golf Tour last year, was happy to have put himself in contention for his first career victory.

“It was a superb round and I really have to thank my excellent putting for putting me in this position,” said Song, who finished 15th on the JGTO moneylist in 2015.

“The goal is to win the tournament this week and for now, I just want to take a good rest before I come back again and hopefully play well like today.”

The 24 year old stormed out of the blocks quickly with two birdies and an eagle three on the fourth to move to five under for the tournament.

He charged towards the turn with another two birdies on seven and eight and continued to set a scorching pace with another pair of birdies on 10 and 11 before a bogey-five on 12 put the brakes on momentarily

After three straight pars from 13, Song shot another birdie on 16 before parring in for a 63.

Kobayashi showed no signs of fatigue despite playing 24 holes on Friday after returning in the early morning to complete his first round which was suspended due to lightning on Thursday.

The Japanese continued to belie his lowly world ranking of 706th by following up his opening 66 with a 69 to put himself in a good position for the weekend.

“This week I am putting well. I will just concentrate to keep the ball on fairway on my tee-shot, that will make easy to hit the green in regulation,” he said.

“I am in a good position but not on top so I do not have to be too nervous. I try not to think about my position – just concentrate on my golf.”

When the second round was suspended because of lightning at 3.07pm, rising star An Byeonghun of Korea – the European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2015 – was tied for second spot with Kobayashi after an eagle, two birdies and a sole bogey in his opening seven holes.

“I do not mind the delay. It means I get to play in better conditions tomorrow morning. The greens will be purer,” said the world number 26.

“It is not as if I hit it close (to the pin) on my last shot. I have a long putt … about 75 feet (on the eighth green).”

American Paul Peterson (70) and Brett Munson (67) and Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha (69) are safely in the clubhouse on four under 138, five shots adrift of Song.

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