• Thailand Golf Championship, Round Two

Schwartzel running away from the field

ESPN staff
December 7, 2012
Charl Schwartzel has been the class of the field so far this week © Getty Images

Charl Schwartzel looks in ominous form at the Thailand Golf Championship, opening up a four-shot lead at the halfway stage of the competition after a second successive round of 65.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, repeated his stellar performance from Thursday to move himself well out in front going into the weekend - the South African eventually finishing at 14-under par, with Sweden's Daniel Chopra his nearest challenger at ten-under.

"It has been really solid," Schwartzel said. "I've put two great rounds together. I hit the ball nicely and gave myself a lot of chances. Those that I missed, I was fortunate to get up and down to save pars. Those are the ones that keep the momentum."

Chopra, who represents Sweden but was born and raised in India, believes returning to more familiar surrounds has helped him rediscover his putting touch.

"I've been playing beautifully the last two, three months," he said. "If anything, my putter had not been really producing the way it normally does, and these first two days I guess coming back to Asia brings out the best in my putter. That's really the only major difference."

Play was suspended late on Friday due to bad light, with Schwartzel among a group of players scrambling to avoid having to return early on Saturday to complete their rounds.

"We were running to finish," Schwartzel joked. "I didn't want to come back at 5am to play one hole. Happy to have a bit of a sleep!"

One player who did not manage to complete his round is Thitiphun Chuayprakong, who has three holes still to play as he bids to improve on his current nine-under par total, level with Japan's Masanori Kobayashi.

A number of big names are moving towards the top of the leaderboard, with Ryo Ishikawa at eight-under and Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson both six-under after second rounds of 69 and 70 respectively.

Lee Westwood, meanwhile, has work to do if he wants to catch Schwartzel - the Englishman carding a round of 69 on Friday to leave him five-under for the tournament.

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