World number 46 Min Woo Lee once again combined power with precision at the US$1million SJM Macau Open today skillfully adding a seven-under-par 64 to his opening 62 for a three-shot lead.
His 16-under-par total here at Macau Golf and Country Club is the lowest two-round total in the event and was fueled by 15 birdies and an eagle since yesterday.
Poom Saksansin is in second place, his purple patch continuing as he carded a 62, while Korean Jaewoong Eom, also enjoying a good run of form, is third, four off the lead, following a 65, with compatriot Meenwhee Kim, who fired a 66.
Lee barely put a foot wrong again today in his debut appearance in a full-field event on the Asian Tour.
He began the day sharing top spot with Scotsman David Drysdale but accelerated away from the pack with five birdies on the front, and two on the back.
“Flawless golf today,” said Lee, who missed numerous birdie opportunities including a four-footer on the last.
“I played really good, didn’t get myself in too much trouble and the last two days have been probably the lowest two days I’ve ever played. So, it’s been fun.”
He is attempting to win his first title in two years, with the most recent being the Scottish Open in 2021.
At the start of the week, he warned that he’s playing well and that his game is trending in the right direction – something very evident by the fact he has an impressive total of eight top-15 finishes this season with a best finish of joint second – and he has been true to his word, dropping just one shot over the two days.
He added: “I feel like I have really good control over the ball, and I’ve been putting well, so if the drives are still on, I think I’m gonna try go low again. I haven’t tried to play passive, I’ve just been trying to play aggressive and it’s nice to make a lot of birdies.”
The previous lowest score after two days had been Australian David Gleeson’s total of 14 under back in 2008.
Poom won the Yeangder TPC in Chinese-Taipei three weeks ago and last week came home in equal third in the International Series Singapore and played near perfect golf today.
He said: “I hit almost all fairways I think, and my irons were pretty good, and I holed most of my putts.”
The layout is short and narrow therefore suitable for a player like the Thai golfer, who is not the longest but known for his accuracy and deft touch.
“If I can guess the wind right then this course definitely suits me,” he added.
Eom, who tied for second in the International Series Singapore for his joint best finish on the Asian Tour, said: “I set my goal at six-under-par before I started, and I am grateful that I succeeded.”
His only two dropped shots of the day came on the 10th which he double bogeyed.
“I miscalculated the wind on the 10th hole. My ball fell into the hazard. I thought it was a wind to hook the ball into, but I should have sliced it. Definite miscalculation,” he added.
“Rather than chasing Min Woo, I think I will just try and focus on firing six under each day.”
Chinese-Taipei’s Lee Chieh-po and Indian Kartik Sharma returned 65s and are tied fifth, along with New Zealand’s Ben Campbell, who shot 68.
Drysdale came in with a 71 and is nine under in joint 12th.
Defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar from India shot a 70 and is six under in a group that includes China’s Liang Wenchong, the Asian Tour number one in 2007, who, now 45, came out of retirement to play this week and carded his second 68.
Jason Knutzon, the 47-year-old American who won this event in 2004, also did well to finish on the same score.
Scores after round 2 of the SJM Macao Open being played at the par 71, 6609 Yards Macau Golf and Country Club course (am – denotes amateur):
126 – Min Woo Lee (AUS) 62-64.
129 – Poom Saksansin (THA) 67-62.
130 – Jaewoong Eom (KOR) 65-65, Meenwhee Kim (KOR) 64-66.
131 – Lee Chieh-po (TPE) 66-65, Kartik Sharma (IND) 66-65, Ben Campbell (NZL) 63-68.
132 – Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 64-68, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 65-67, Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 68-64, Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 69-63.
133 – David Drysdale (SCO) 62-71, Honey Baisoya (IND) 68-65, Michael Maguire (USA) 65-68, Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 65-68, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 63-70, Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 66-67.
134 – Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 67-67, Justin Quiban (PHI) 67-67, Jin Cheng (CHN) 66-68, Jack Thompson (AUS) 65-69, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 70-64.
135 – Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 66-69, Steve Lewton (ENG) 68-67, Ian Snyman (RSA) 63-72, Sam Brazel (AUS) 67-68, Berry Henson (USA) 68-67, Taichi Kho (HKG) 66-69, Trevor Simsby (USA) 70-65, Zach Murray (AUS) 70-65, Tom Power Horan (AUS) 70-65.
136 – Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 66-70, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 71-65, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 66-70, Liang Wenchong (CHN) 68-68, Turk Pettit (USA) 65-71, Kevin Yuan (AUS) 68-68, Jason Knutzon (USA) 68-68, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 70-66, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 70-66.
137 – Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 66-71, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 68-69, Angad Cheema (IND) 67-70, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 70-67, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 69-68, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 70-67, Josh Younger (AUS) 69-68, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 68-69, Nicholas Fung (MAS) 69-68, Nick Voke (NZL) 72-65, Wang Wei-hsuan (TPE) 68-69, Tong Yang (CHN) 68-69, Tanapat Pichaikool (THA) 70-67.
138 – Miguel Carballo (ARG) 70-68, Ollie Roberts (SCO) 72-66, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 68-70, Prom Meesawat (THA) 67-71, Alvaro Ortiz (MEX) 67-71, Yashas Chandra (IND) 70-68, Jeremy Gandon (FRA) 71-67, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 69-69, Yikeun Chang (KOR) 70-68, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 68-70, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 70-68, Natipong Srithong (THA) 72-66.
139 – Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 73-66, Matthew Cheung (HKG) 68-71, Runchanapong Youprayong (THA) 69-70, Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 67-72, Todd Sinnott (AUS) 67-72, Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 67-72, Ervin Chang (MAS) 69-70, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 69-70, Scott Hend (AUS) 70-69, A.J. Batty (ENG) 70-69, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (IND) 71-68.
140 – Liu Zonghan (am, CHN) 68-72, Ben Jones (ENG) 69-71, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 68-72, MJ Viljoen (RSA) 70-70, Harrison Gilbert-Wong (AUS) 67-73, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 72-68, Ekpharit Wu (THA) 72-68, Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (THA) 69-71, Thitipan Pachuayprakong (THA) 73-67.
141 – Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 72-69, Aman Raj (IND) 70-71, Kasidit Lepkurte (THA) 69-72, Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 68-73, Mitchell Slorach (SIN) 72-69, Ryoto Furuya (USA) 72-69, Douglas Klein (AUS) 73-68, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 74-67, Khalin Joshi (IND) 68-73, Huang Chi (TPE) 74-67.
142 – Rashid Khan (IND) 71-71, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 70-72, K.P. Lin (TPE) 73-69, Chang Xihuan (am, CHN) 71-71, Danthai Boonma (THA) 66-76, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 72-70, Matt Killen (ENG) 71-71, Abdul Hadi (SIN) 73-69, Alex Ching (USA) 70-72.
143 – Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 74-69, Settee Prakongvech (THA) 70-73, Neil Schietekat (RSA) 76-67, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 71-72, John Lyras (AUS) 72-71, Chiang Chen-chih (TPE) 71-72.
144 – Li Haotong (CHN) 73-71, Angelo Que (PHI) 71-73, Zhang Lianwei (CHN) 71-73, Viraj Madappa (IND) 71-73, Akshay Sharma (IND) 71-73, Micah Lauren Shin (USA) 76-68, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 70-74, Chen Guxin (CHN) 71-73.
145 – Shahriffuddin Ariffin (MAS) 76-69.
146 – Leon D’Souza (HKG) 70-76, Rory Hie (INA) 75-71, Isaac Lee (am, HKG) 74-72.
147 – Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 76-71, David Gleeson (AUS) 71-76, Zhang Jin (CHN) 74-73, Hun Pui In (am, MAC) 69-78.
148 – S. Vikkash Babu (SIN) 74-74, Gaurav Pratap Singh (IND) 77-71.
150 – Terrence Ng (HKG) 76-74, Stuart McLaren (SCO) 75-75, Lander Lee (am, HKG) 78-72.
151 – Casper Loh (MAS) 74-77.
154 – Michael Yuen (am, HKG) 74-80.
-4 (138) was the final cut, 65 players made the cut