January 17, 2020 / 12:38 PM / a month ago

Jazz rocks in Singapore to boost title defense

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Jazz Janewattananond injected fresh momentum into his title defense at the Singapore Open with a second round six-under-par 65 on Friday to grab a one-shot lead heading into day three.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 148th Open Championship - Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland - July 18, 2019 Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond during the first round REUTERS/Paul Childs

The 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, beginning his round two shots off the pace, bogeyed the second hole before hitting three birdies on his front nine.

The Thai picked up four more shots on his back nine to be at 10-under-par 132 at the halfway stage but he refused to be complacent especially with Matt Kuchar and Justin Rose lurking two shots behind.

Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena matched Jazz’s 65 to share second place with Korean teen Joohyung Kim who hit a 66 at the Sentosa Golf Club.

“There are still two more days and anything can happen,” said Jazz, who is bidding to be the second player, after Australian Adam Scott, to defend the title.

“Everyone will be bringing their A game into the weekend. You just got to try and bring yours too and do what you have to do.

“Today I struggled at the start, was a bit shaky but I found the groove after and managed to get it done quite right.”

American Kuchar endured a topsy-turvy outing before hurling himself into title contention with a 68.

“It was quite breezy this morning and there were some difficult holes out there,” said the American who mixed seven birdies with two bogeys and a double bogey.

“I am glad that it was another good round today and I am in a good position for the weekend.”

Former world number one Rose hit a 66.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis

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