Kuala Lumpur: Two-time runner-up Gary Woodland equalled the course record with a sensational 11-under par 61 to grab a share of the lead at the $7 million CIMB Classic on Friday.
At the halfway stage at par-72 TPC Kuala Lumpur, the 34-year-old big-hitter was on 14-under par 130, later matched by Australia’s Marc Leishman who came in with a 10-under-par 62.
Ryder Cup star Paul Casey and 22-year-old Indian Shubhankar Sharma were one shot back in a tie for third after rounds of 65 and 64 respectively on another low-scoring day.
Woodland’s blistering 61 matched Justin Thomas’s course record from the second round in 2015. Thomas, the 2015 and 2016 champion, slipped down the leaderboard to tied 15th, despite his 65.
Woodland, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour including the 2018 Phoenix Open, finished second in 2013 and 2014, and he showed his love for the course once again by carding the lowest round of his PGA Tour career.
The world number 38 started on the back nine and after a birdie on his first hole, he turned at 31 and finished his bogey-free round with five birdies in the last six holes.
“You don’t know if you’re going to shoot 11-under, but I knew I was playing well. I knew I was playing well yesterday and I felt like today I did the exact same thing,” said Woodland, who shot 69 on Thursday.
“It’s nice to just stay aggressive out here. This golf course suits up pretty good for me, I’ve had success here in the past. It’s nice to be back and playing well.”
‘20 or lower’
The ever-consistent Leishman, winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and BMW Championship on the PGA Tour last year, had an even better finish than Woodland, draining six birdies in his last eight holes.
“I drove it a lot better today than I did yesterday. Had a little session on the range this morning and worked out what I was doing, and it paid off immediately,” said the Australian world number 24.