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Kruger birdie fest sends him top

ESPN staff
December 6, 2013 « Rodgers: No top four deal with Suarez | Chartbeat test »
Kruger's birdie fest sent him soaring in Hong Kong © Getty Images
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Jbe Kruger carded six birdies on the back nine to come home in just 30 shots and grab the halfway lead at the Hong Kong Open.

The South African holed three bogeys and a solitary birdie on a mixed opening nine holes, before shifting gears after the turn to record a 66 and reach 4-under par.

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"I played well, I probably swung it the best I've swung it in a long time," Kruger said. "I'm excited and I'm playing better for a change."

Kruger holed a tricky eight-foot putt at the 11th to kick-start a run of four straight birdies, including a 25-footer at 14, which propelled him to the top of the leaderboard.

A par at 15 ended the run, but a superb approaches to within feet of both the just 15th and 16th pins set up further gains.

Welshman Stuart Manley carded a second successive 67 to move into second at 6-under, while India's Shiv Kapur, Germany's Alex Cejka and Australian Wade Ormsby scored 66, 67 and 68 respectively to move into a share for third at 5-under par.

Scotland's Chris Doak added a 68 to his opening round of the same score to head a group of eight players at 4-under.

Former Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari continues his recovery from a lengthy injury lay-off with a second round 69 to scrape inside the cutline by a single stroke.

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, who was this week named Europe's captain for the inaugural EurAsia Cup, is up to 14th after a 67 which included six birdies and three bogeys.

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