Ironman Aguilar leads as weather brings China Open to halt


Chile's Felipe Aguilar timed his second-round 65 to perfection as he beat the threat of incoming storms to take the lead before play was suspended at the China Open on Friday.

Aguilar took advantage of more favourable early conditions to turn in a blemish-free card that showed seven birdies, though inclement weather is unlikely to trouble someone who participated in an ironman event over the festive break.

The 41-year-old demonstrated an altogether different type of drive from the one he normally executes off the tee, taking on a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run that he admits had a negative impact on his performance on the tour.

"I started pretty unstable at the start of the year," he said. "I missed several cuts by one or two shots and I wasn't putting very well, missing shots that I usually don't. I guess now I believe my doctors when they said I would struggle to recover my fitness from doing an ironman competition.

"They said I would struggle for about two months afterwards and I actually did because it's such fine margins in this sport. I haven't done much exercise in recuperating my body, but I have been doing a lot of work lately so hopefully this will do it."

Aguilar's efforts at Topwin Golf and Country Club left him one stroke clear of Alex Noren and Bernd Wiesberger, who also managed to complete their rounds before the day's action was called to a halt.

A host of contenders will return to the course early on Saturday to finish their second rounds, including former leader Hennie Otto.

The South African got through 14 holes at even par, leaving him nine under from Thursday's stunning 63 as he goes in search of a fourth European Tour triumph.

Lee Soomin, winner last time out at the Shenzhen Open, will need a spectacular final six holes to make the projected cut mark as the South Korean resides on four over.