Aaron Rai: English golfer hits course record to lead Hong Kong Open

Aaron Rai

England’s Aaron Rai set a new course record at the Hong Kong Open by shooting a nine-under-par 61 for a four-stroke lead after round two.

The 23-year-old from Wolverhampton had six birdies in his first nine holes, including four in a row from the 12th, adding three more on the back nine.

Rai broke the course record at Hong Kong Golf Club by two shots as he moved to 14 under par for the two rounds.

“Again, we were lucky with the conditions,” said the world number 201.

“We didn’t have much wind and, starting out pretty early the first nine holes feels like you’re playing a round at home, which is nice.

“I played very well, kept the ball in play, had a lot of chances and made a lot of putts, too. Everything was on song.”

South Korea’s Hyowon Park shot a bogey-free 62 and is second on 10 under, while England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick is third, two strokes further back, after he also carded a 62, sinking five birdies in his last eight holes.

American Micah Lauren Shin shot a 67 to move fourth on seven under, while Tommy Fleetwood, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros, Brazilian Adilson da Silva and Australians Jake Higginbottom, Jason Scrivener and Scott Hend are all one shot behind in joint fifth.

Masters champion Patrick Reed produced six birdies in his final seven holes to reach level par and guarantee he makes the weekend.

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