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Long takes halfway lead

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-04 08:14
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LONGKOU, Shandong - Veteran Michael Long rekindled some of the magic of his past to take the second round lead in the $1 million Nanshan China Masters.

The 42 year old Kiwi carded a 5-under 67 for a two round total of 7 under par at Nanshan International Golf Club's Danling Cuiyuan Course.

He leads by a stroke from Australians Andres Stolz and Scott Laycock. Stolz, winner of the season opening Indonesia PGA Championship on OneAsia, fired a 68 while Laycock shot 67.

One stroke further back is Australian Terry Pilkadaris who came in with a 68.

In an inspired performance 15-year-old amateur Li Haotong from China shot a 71 to lie 3 under for the tournament in a tie for 13th place.

Long was once the golden boy of golf in New Zealand who won the New Zealand Open in 1996 and the Greg Norman Invitational three years later. He also claimed titles on the Nationwide Tour in the United States in 2001 and 2003.

However, his career has slowed down over the past couple of years to the extent that he recently started working in between tournaments.

"It is a great week so far considering that my golf is restricted these days. About eight months ago I started working for a marketing company in Perth in between playing in tournaments. Since turning professional 20 years ago I have not worked outside of golf. It has been a great experience and I work with a great bunch of guys," said Long.

He made an eagle, four birdies and dropped one shot to put himself in a strong position to push for the winner's cheque of $180,000. His last win came in the Western Australian PGA Championship in 2008.

"It has not been too long since I last won. The memories and emotions are still there. I will feel nervous going into the weekend but it would be wrong not to be," added Long.

Stolz carded a bogey free round with four birdies. It was a fine round considering he played in the morning when strong winds forced play to be suspended for two hours.

Players teed off on schedule at 6:20 am but shortly after 7 am play was suspended when on two different holes balls were moved on the greens by winds that reached 48 km/h.

China Daily