HONG KONG (AP) — Rafa Cabrera Bello extended his lead to three strokes at the Hong Kong Open on Friday after a 5-under 65.
Cabrera Bello, who led by one stroke after an opening 64 at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 11-under 129 overall. Sam Brazel is second after a second consecutive 66.
“There are birdies out there, it is a tricky course,” Cabrera Bello said. “I felt I paid my dues here other years as well from not knowing the course and not playing it smart enough. I think this year I’m playing it good.”
Brazel said he’s happy with some new clubs.
“It’s been fun the last couple of weeks, some new equipment in the bag has given me a little bit of confidence and I’m just enjoying my golf at the moment,” said Brazel, who is 48th on the Asian Tour order of merit.
Masters champion Danny Willett (66) had six birdies, moving into a four-way tie for third place, five strokes behind the leader.
“Started in worst way you can,” said Willett, who had a bogey on his opening hole. “But then bounced back nicely with three good birdies and had a few nice chances on the next few and just didn’t quite take any.”
Justin Rose (69) was 1-under for the tournament, while Ian Poulter (72) was at even par, as was U.S. Ryder Cup player Patrick Reed (70).
“I played well today, just solid enough,” Rose said. “Hit loads of greens. Putting on the front nine I struggled with. I guess I just missed too many short ones really.”