Lee Westwood is halfway to defending his Maybank Malaysian Open title from 2014, but he’ll have to shake off Spain’s Alejandro Canizares, among others, if he’s to get it done this weekend.
Westwood recorded just one bogey for a second straight round, firing a 5-under 67 to drop to 11-under through 36 holes in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
He’s joined atop the leaderboard by Spain’s Canizares, who shot a 7-under 65, birdying thre eof his final four holes in the process.
The 31-year-old Canizares, ranked 139th in the world, is looking for his third Euro Tour win. He’s had an impressive swing in the Middle East so far in 2015, finishing tied for 12th at Abu Dhabi and eighth at the Qatar Masters.
The pair have a three-stroke lead over third-place Bernd Wiesberger, who used a 6-under 66 to jump up 13 spots on Friday. Wiesberger nearly matched Canizares’ 65, but had a bogey on 11.
Paul Waring and Peter Lawrie are tied for fourth at 7-under. Lawrie also shot a 66, which enabled him to rise 26 spots.
Day One co-leader Graeme McDowell saw himself cooling off considerably to the tune of a 1-over 73, dropping his from the lead to eighth place at 5-under. McDowell really took his lumps with a bogey on No. 11 followed by a double-bogey 6 on the par-4, 479-yard No. 12.
The cut came down at 2-over, leaving the likes of Gary Stal and Thomas Aiken on the wrong side of the fence.