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Jacobson wakes from slumber to move ahead in Shanghai

Jacobson reacts after a shot onto the ninth green during the second round today. — Reuters picJacobson reacts after a shot onto the ninth green during the second round today. — Reuters picSHANGHAI, Nov 4 — A well-rested Fredrik Jacobson stormed into a one-stroke lead at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament after the Swede shot a bogey-free 66 in the second round at the Sheshan International Club today.

The 37-year-old followed up an opening 67 with another impressive round to post an 11-under-par halfway total, one clear of 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen, who produced a brilliant nine-under 63, and Australia’s Adam Scott.

Overnight leader, US PGA champion Keegan Bradley, was five shots worse in his second round but still managed a solid two-under 70 to sit alone in fourth place on nine under for the tournament.

Jacobson, who has one victory in eight years on the US PGA Tour, warmed up for this week’s event in Malaysia last week, where he admitted his golf had been upset by a lack of sleep.

However, now fully adjusted to the Asian time zones, the Swede is confident he can add to the Travellers Championship title he won in June.

“In Malaysia, I had a hard time with the sleep and jetlag,” he told reporters. “I was sleeping in shifts of two hours here and three hours there. It was difficult to deal with a 12-hour time change.

“It took me a good six days before I slept for a full night.

“But this year has been my best to date on the US Tour. I finished 43rd on the money list which is not that bad. I know I won a few times in Europe in 2003 but I would say that my golf now is similar to then.”

Jacobson said he had certainly benefited from the softer Sheshan greens after a violent overnight thunderstorm and the more receptive putting surfaces certainly suited Oosthuizen, as the South African recorded the first 63 of his career.

“I don’t think I missed a green all day,” he said. “And I found the pace of the greens really suited me. I think I have shot a 62 on my local course back in South Africa but I have not had a 63 before.”

Asian interest over the weekend will centre on Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who moved to within four shots of Jacobson with a 69 despite struggling with a neck injury which required a lengthy physio season before his round.

Alongside Thongchai at seven under are Germany’s Martin Kaymer and England’s Lee Westwood, who have both briefly occupied the world number one ranking in the past 12 months.

Rory McIlroy’s hopes of taking a major chunk out of the absent Luke Donald’s 1.3 million euro (RM5.6 million) Race to Dubai lead improved slightly after the Northern Irishman shot a three-under 69 to sit six shots off the pace in a tie for 17th. — Reuters

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