Lowry stays up with China pace

Mark Garrod

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN stormed into a five-shot lead at golf's final world championship of the season in China today.

The 30-year-old South African, who won the 2010 Open by a massive seven strokes, produced a course-record 63 to reach halfway on 16-under par in the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.

Ireland's Shane Lowry remains very much in the hunt with a second round of 68 to lie joint-fourth on ten-under par. Lowry is bidding for a second win in three starts and a place in the world's top 50 for the first time,

Peter Hanson fell back in a blow to his hopes of a victory that would take him ahead of the absent Rory McIlroy at the top of the European Tour money list.

The Swede double-bogeyed the 12th after seeing a chip come back down a bank at the front of the green and let another shot go at the 14th in a 71 that left him nine back.

Oosthuizen, however, was in supeb form. After making birdies at each of the five par fives in his opening 65 he went even better on his return to the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed lay-out.

He birdied four of them again, eagled the 566-yard seventh and also picked up four other birdies to go clear of the field.

Australian Adam Scott, tied for the lead after his opening 65, added a 68 and was joined in second place when current Open champion Ernie Els matched his compatriot's 63.

Making his return from an ankle injury that forced him out of last week's PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda Els threatened to go even lower when he turned in a seven-under 29.

The 43-year-old added further birdies at the 12th and 14th, hitting approaches to within two feet, and kept a bogey off his card for the second day.


Scott was keeping pace early on with five birdies in the first 11 holes, but he bogeyed the next two and after coming back with two more birdies he came up short of the green at the 197-yard 17th and dropped another shot.

That was not as bad as the finishes of Phil Mickelson or Masters champion Bubba Watson, however.

After eagles at the third and seventh - and three birdies - Mickelson was alongside Scott, but then came a missed four-foot putt at the 14th and after that bogey worse was to come on the last with a double bogey six.

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, said fatigue was the reason he skipped this week's event in Shanghai.

"I was tired and doing these things is not easy. Competing and getting ready for another tournament, I just didn't want to do that."