Canadian Richard T. Lee looks like a man on a mission at this week’s International Series Egypt after he moved into the lead on day two, bidding to make amends for letting victory slip from his grasp last Sunday.
He shot a five-under-par 65 at Madinaty Golf Club to go to 11 under for the US$1.5 million event led by one from American Andy Ogletree, who carded a 64.
American Sihwan Kim is a shot further back following a 66 – in a ground-breaking tournament that marks the first time the Asian Tour has visited Egypt.
Two-time Japan Tour winner Jinichiro Kozuma from Japan is tied with Kim after shooting 64, impressively one of the few players to make a challenge in the more difficult afternoon conditions when the wind was stronger.
Overnight leader Scott Hend from Australia had a disappointing day shooting a 74 to sit seven off the pace.
In-form Lee was on course to win last week’s International Series Morocco but made a costly bogey on the penultimate hole while Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond stormed through to win at the death with an eagle, birdie finish.
However, the loss has clearly done nothing to his confidence: he birdied six of the last seven holes on the front nine to go 10 under on the front nine for the first two days. He nearly aced the par-three eighth where his tee shot hit the flag leaving him a tap in for a two.
“I feel like it is more comfortable to my eyes on the front nine, the back nine is a bit harder for me, I feel like I can’t putt as well as the front nine, yesterday and today,” said Lee, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, with the most recent being the 2017 Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea.
“My game is solid right now, mentally I am also feeling confident. We still have 36 holes out there. I just want to play my game, I don’t want to think I have got to beat this person, or that person.
“I am just going to play my game, play my front nine again, and try and shoot five or six under par again. I just want to get this win first and see where it goes from there.”
Ogletree, the US Amateur champion in 2019, is a rookie on the Asian Tour this year and is putting together his best performance so far this year.
“You got to take advantage of playing in the morning out here, there’s not much wind, and I got off to a good start, four under through nine,” said 24-year-old Ogletree.
“Had a lot of opportunities coming down the stretch, it could have been a lot better, but very pleased with how I’m playing and should be in a good position going into the weekend.”
Sihwan, the number two ranked player this year with two wins, holed a 30-footer on the par-four 18th for a his third eagle of the week to go with the two he made on the front nine yesterday.
“Not the best off the tee but got it around and played really well on the front nine, my back nine,” said Kim.
“Probably on our sixth or seventh hole the wind started picking up, and it’s been pretty windy since then. And it was a lot heavier wind than yesterday, so it’s been kind of tough.”
Americans Jarin Todd (66) and Trevor Simsby (67), Australia’s Travis Smyth (67) and South African Jaco Ahlers (68) are three off the lead.
Moroccan Ayoub Lguirati continued to impress carding a 67, the same score as Bernd Wiesberger from Austria, an eight-time winner on the DP World Tour. They are in a group of players tied for ninth on seven under.
Scores after round 2 of the International Series Egypt being played at the par 70, 6900 Yards Madinaty Golf Club course (am – denotes amateur):
129 – Richard T. Lee (CAN) 64-65.
130 – Andy Ogletree (USA) 66-64.
131 – Sihwan Kim (USA) 65-66, Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN) 67-64.
132 – Trevor Simsby (USA) 65-67, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 64-68, Travis Smyth (AUS) 65-67, Jarin Todd (USA) 66-66.
133 – Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 66-67, Prom Meesawat (THA) 67-66, Seungtaek Lee (KOR) 63-70, Ayoub Lguirati (MOR) 66-67, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 65-68, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 63-70.
134 – Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 68-66.
135 – Turk Pettit (USA) 67-68, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 70-65, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 69-66, Berry Henson (USA) 68-67, Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 66-69, James Piot (USA) 65-70, Sam Brazel (AUS) 65-70.
136 – Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 70-66, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 66-70, Scott Hend (AUS) 62-74, Ian Snyman (RSA) 67-69, Brett Rumford (AUS) 65-71, Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 68-68, Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 67-69.
137 – Viraj Madappa (IND) 67-70, Justin Quiban (PHI) 66-71, Todd Sinnott (AUS) 68-69, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 67-70, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 68-69, Taehoon Ok (KOR) 71-66.
138 – Kevin Yuan (AUS) 71-67, Yikeun Chang (KOR) 72-66, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 71-67, Adam Bresnu (am, MOR) 68-70, Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 68-70, Danthai Boonma (THA) 71-67, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 69-69, Woohyun Kim (KOR) 69-69, Mathiam Keyser (RSA) 65-73, El Mehdi Fakori (am, MOR) 68-70.
139 – Sungyeol Kwon (KOR) 73-66, Cole Madey (USA) 70-69, Natipong Srithong (THA) 71-68, Chase Koepka (USA) 70-69, Shergo Al Kurdi (JOR) 69-70, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 70-69, Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 71-68, Alvaro Ortiz (MEX) 67-72, S. Chikkarangappa (IND) 70-69, Koh Deng Shan (SIN) 71-68, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 69-70, David Puig (ESP) 68-71, Scott Vincent (ZIM) 70-69, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 68-71, Jack Harrison (ENG) 71-68.
140 – Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 69-71, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 71-69, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 68-72, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 71-69, Angelo Que (PHI) 69-71, Sangchai Kaewcharoen (THA) 73-67, Shinichi Mizuno (JPN) 68-72, Cory Crawford (AUS) 70-70, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 71-69, Aman Kapil Gupta (USA) 68-72, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 70-70, Tristen Strydom (RSA) 75-65.
141 – Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 73-68, Jake Higginbottom (AUS) 72-69, Kevin Phelan (IRL) 71-70, Neil Schietekat (RSA) 72-69, Prescott Butler (USA) 71-70, Saptak Talwar (IND) 73-68, Danny Masrin (INA) 68-73, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 70-71, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 69-72, Keith Horne (RSA) 71-70.
142 – Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 67-75, Minchel Choi (KOR) 70-72, Ben Leong (MAS) 71-71, Issa Abou El Ela (am, EGY) 69-73, Honey Baisoya (IND) 70-72, Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 72-70, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 69-73, Poom Saksansin (THA) 70-72, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 73-69.
143 – Aman Raj (IND) 72-71, Doyeob Mun (KOR) 73-70, Sattaya Supupramai (THA) 70-73, Settee Prakongvech (THA) 71-72, Tanapat Pichaikool (THA) 70-73.
144 – Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 76-68, Benjamin Follett-Smith (ZIM) 69-75, Rory Hie (INA) 70-74, Nicholas Fung (MAS) 71-73, Khalin Joshi (IND) 73-71, Saud Al Sharif (am, KSA) 72-72.
145 – Kasidit Lepkurte (THA) 71-74, Lionel Weber (FRA) 73-72, Elyas Barhoumi (am, TUN) 74-71, Mohammed Nizar Bourehim (am, MOR) 71-74.
147 – Carlos Bustos (CHI) 72-75.
148 – Dean Naime (am, EGY) 77-71, Daeng Abdul Rahman (MAS) 72-76.
149 – Daniel Fox (AUS) 74-75, Mitchell Slorach (SIN) 72-77, Othman Almulla (KSA) 75-74, Saleh Ali Al Kaabi (am, QAT) 75-74, Faisal Salhab (am, KSA) 70-79.
152 – Janne Kaske (FIN) 72-80, Fares Abdel AZIZ (EGY) 72-80.
155 – Abdelmonem El Shafei (am, EGY) 79-76.
158 – Azzan Al Rumhy (am, OMA) 77-81.
160 – Khalifa Mohamed Khalifa (am, BHR) 79-81.
170 – Rachid Akl (am, LBN) 83-87.
+0 (140) was the final cut, 72 players made the cut