Two-time winner Adam Scott shot a second straight 65 Friday to take a two-stroke lead over defending champion Ian Poulter of England after the second round at the European Tour’s Barclays Singapore Open.
Scott was at 12-under 130 after opening with consecutive 6-under rounds on both the Serapong and Tanjong courses at the Sentosa Golf Club, where the Australian won titles in 2005 and 2006.
Poulter shot 63 after an opening 69. Three golfers were three shots back in a tie for third, including U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who birdied his first four holes and finished with a 68.
Most of the field of 204 was able to complete their second rounds Friday after a four-hour thunderstorm delay Thursday, although 28 golfers will complete their second rounds Saturday morning before the cut is made.
McDowell had spoken prior to the tournament of his aim to reduce Martin Kaymer's lead in the Race to Dubai standings, and the Northern Irishman set about his task in determined fashion. The 31-year-old recorded birdies on the first four holes before a bogey checked his progress. That was to prove the sum total of his scoring as a birdie on the 13th was given back at the very next hole.
He was joined by Fredrik Andersson Hed and Kang Kyun-nam, who returned rounds of 65 and 67 respectively, and Joost Luiten, who was tearing up the Tanjon Course with the Dutchman 6 under for his round through 12 holes before darkness called a halt to proceedings.
Rikard Karlberg, Prayad Marksaeng, Jeev Milkha Singh and Liang Wen-chong were tied for seventh on 8 under par, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson was joined by Kim Bi-o, John Huh and Gregory Bourdy on 7 under.
Kaymer was in a large group at 6 under par after the German completed a second consecutive 68. He was joined by Phil Mickelson, who shot a 69, and Chris Wood, who followed up Thursday’s stunning 63 over the Tanjon Course with a disappointing 2-over 73 on the more difficult Serapong layout.
Scott had five birdies and an eagle over a six-hole stretch to make the turn at 29. He returned Friday morning to complete the first round and played 30 holes on the day.
"It was a good day overall, it was a long day -- 30 holes of golf -- so I'm pleased with the outcome," Scott said. "It was a shame to slow down a bit on the back nine, but that's golf, I suppose. It's out there and you still have to go out and make the putts if you are going to score well.
"Every time you have won somewhere you always enjoy going back and you have good feelings, and I have had a great run here in Singapore in the past. It would be great to have another great run over the weekend and get win No. 3,” he added. "But I just enjoy being here, everyone is really supportive and I have a good time playing golf here."
Poulter had six birdies over his last nine holes, including a monster putt on the last, to haul himself back into contention. The defending champion found himself languishing down the leaderboard on 2 under par, but after going out in 34, Poulter picked up six birdies on the way back -- including at the last courtesy of a monster putt -- to move within two of Scott.
“It was the very, very left edge of the back of the green and I reckon it is a good 100 feet, if not a touch more,” Poulter said. “I certainly can’t remember holing anything of that length in the past.”