(Reuters) – Bernd Wiesberger reeled off nine birdies in a row in a superb second round of 63 to grab a one-shot lead over Masters champion Danny Willett at the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The 31-year-old lit up the Saujana Golf and Country Club with the birdie blitz from the seventh to 15th holes to go 12-under after 36 to boost his prospects of a fourth European Tour title.
Wiesberger is the first player in European Tour history to card nine straight birdies in a round but with preferred lies in place, when players are allowed to improve the ball’s lie without penalty on certain parts of the course, the Austrian will not make the record books.
“I hit really good shots and I just felt calm out there,” he said after returning a card that included 11 birdies and two bogeys.
“It felt kind of natural, I hit pretty good shots and really only holed two long ones which were the last birdie of the nine on 15 and about a 20-footer on 11.
“Apart from that I just hit them pretty close and felt like I had a good idea of what the ball was going to do on the green today again which was nice,” added the Austrian, who began the day six shots off lead.
Englishman Willett hit six birdies and a bogey in his 67 to sit at 11-under, two shots clear of Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and American David Lipsky.
Lorenzo-Vera sank six birdies and an eagle in his 65, while Lipsky was bogey-free in his 67.
Marc Warren of Scotland surrendered his overnight lead with a three-over-par round of 75, following three bogeys and a triple bogey on his last six holes.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis)