As the hooter sounded to suspend play overnight for darkness at the Singapore Classic, Tom McKibbin breathed a sigh of relief after returning from the previous suspension to complete his 18th hole in time to share the clubhouse lead.
McKibbin battled gallantly to shoot a three-under 69 to post an eleven-under-par total and he will sleep on a share of the overnight lead with Chinese amateur Wenyi Ding who has four holes of his second round to play on Saturday morning.
The Holywood native has impressed in his rookie season on the DP World Tour so far but has had to contend with a series of weather delays which stretch back to the Challenge Tour season run in last autumn. Fortunately, Mother Nature looked upon him with a smile and he can look forward to a late tee time in round three.
“I just hoped we would finish it off. I didn’t fancy coming back early in the morning to hit three shots, very happy we managed it.
“Pretty solid. I played very nicely most of the day, especially the front nine. A little bit colder on the back, overall a pretty good day.”
Having soared to the summit in round one with an opening 64, the 20-year-old continued in a similar fashion with a front nine of 31 with birdies on 3, 5, 6 and 8 as he opened up a two-shot lead.
McKibbin almost held out for eagle on the 5th from what seemed like a precarious position from the right tough while standing in the bunker.
“(On five) I got lucky, I think the ball landed in a bunker and just bounced out. I didn’t have that great of stance, I had to hit the ball back a bit played for that release on the green. It came out perfect, obviously landed fairly perfect and trickled down to a couple of feet which was nice.”
The back nine proved slightly tricker for McKibbin who fell out of the lead with bogeys on 11 and 13 but did bounce back with a welcome birdie on the next to leap back in front.
“It’s very tricky (club selection), especially some of the in to the wind shots, if you’re on an upslope you don’t really know how much the wind is going to hurt it. It’s a guess, which is hard. Especially if you hit it too high into the wind and it grabs it, you can hit a slope and a decent shot could land 20 feet away and up going 40 or 50 feet away. It’s definitely challenging,” explained McKibbin who is relishing the challenge of competing for a maiden DP World Tour win.
“I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully go out and play some of my own golf, concentrate well and see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, Gary Hurley looks set to miss successive cuts after a closing double-bogey put paid to his chances of weekend golf as he fell back to level-par.
After an opening 69 it was a second round 75 as the Waterford man dropped three shots below the projected cut line.
After a struggling front nine, the 30-year-old rallied with birdies on the first and third to leap back inside the cut mark on three-under but a dropped shot on the sixth left him needing a late birdie to give himself hope. He would card a double-bogey six on the ninth.
Kinsale’s John Murphy also missed the cut on five-over.
- Scoring HERE
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