A spectacular albatross helped Australia’s Scott Hend surge into contention in the weather-disrupted Shenzhen International on Saturday.
Hend, who won his second European Tour title in Thailand last month, holed his second shot on the par-five 17th from 233 yards in a second round of 65, which also featured three birdies and an eagle.
“I hit a nice five wood and heard a clap up at the green,” said Hend, whose ball landed just a few feet from the hole, took two bounces and dropped in.
“I turned to TC (Tony Carolan, his caddie) and said wouldn’t it be funny if it went in. A cameraman came up and said it was a two – it was very surprising.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to make six of them. When you hit the ball longer than average you give yourself a few chances over the many number of years I’ve been playing.
“It’s awesome. When you have a hole in one it’s great, but an albatross really gives you more of an edge. I three-putted the par-three the hole before so I was lucky to get it back – and more.”
At eight under par, Hend was five shots behind halfway leader Soomin Lee of Korea, who had completed his own 65 on Friday and did not card a bogey in the first two rounds.
Lee was three shots ahead of Holland’s Joost Luiten, with Scotland’s Richie Ramsay a shot further back after carding a flawless 66 on Saturday as the second round was belatedly completed. More than six hours of play had been lost due to bad weather on Thursday and Friday.
World No.4 Bubba Watson is nine shots off the lead after adding a 69 to his opening 71, with defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat three shots further back following a 72.