Choi powers on in Johnnie Walker Classic - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Choi powers on in Johnnie Walker Classic

By James Dampney 10/02/2006 10:41:00 PM Comments (0)

Korean KJ Choi shot a near-flawless second round to take a two shot lead into the weekend as a host of big names fell by the wayside at the $3 million Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.

One of the hottest fields ever assembled in Australia arrived for the co-sanctioned event, including five of the world's top 15.

But some major drawcards are already heading home after a stunning second day at The Vines.

The cut was made at two-under.

Pre-tournament favourite and world No.3 Retief Goosen, US Open champion Michael Campbell, reigning European Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie and Australian Peter Lonard are among those who missed out.

A triple bogey eight on the 5th put paid to Campbell's charge, while Montgomerie dropped five shots in four holes in a nightmare stretch from 11 to 14.

It was a different story for Choi, however, who leads American Kevin Stadler by two shots after another solid day.

Overnight co-leader Adam Scott is four behind Choi after a slightly disappointing 71 on Friday, equal with countrymen Tony Carolan and Richard Green.

They are one stroke ahead of a bunch of players on eight-under, including Englishman Ian Poulter and evergreen veteran Peter Senior.

Choi impressed with Thursday's seven-under 65 and was on song again on Friday, firing six birdies and no bogeys in a six-under par round of 66.

His one wayward shot came on the fifth tee when he found the trees, but he still got up and down for par.

While Choi was Mr Consistent, South Australian Gary Simpson was the hottest golfer on the course, firing a course-record nine-under par 63.

Simpson had eight birdies and an eagle and even threw in a bogey on the par four 12th, but he is still seven shots off the pace after shooting 75 on Thursday.

"I knew I had to shoot 67 or 68 to make the cut," he said.

"I was three-under through three and didn't look back."

Scott is a proven front-runner, evidenced by his wire-to-wire victory in last year's Johnnie Walker Classic in Beijing.

He raised hopes of a similar performance with Thursday's superb 64, but couldn't repeat his form with the putter on Friday.

Scott had 34 putts on Friday, compared to 27 on day one.

"There was nothing wrong with my game," he said.

"I just didn't make enough putts to push on the way I'd hoped.

"The main thing is I'm still in a pretty good position and just need to hole a few tomorrow to get myself right in contention."

Robert Allenby is still on track for a fourth straight title on home oil, adding to the Triple Crown he won late last year.

Allenby is 7-under and well in contention after Friday's second round 4-under par 68.

Fellow Australian Craig Parry and American Fred Couples are one stroke back at 6-under the card.

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