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Choi takes China Open lead

4/17/2009 - Golf

BEIJING -- Choi Ho-sung of South Korea
picked up four shots to claim the second-day lead with a
6-under-par 138 at the $2.2 million China Open on Friday.

Choi, who started the day at 2-under, made six birdies
to finish the round on 68 at the Beijing CBD International Golf
Club.

Overnight leader Markus Brier of Austria ended up on a total
of 4-under, tied for second with Thai Chapchai Nirat.

"I made a big surprise for you guys," the 36-year-old Choi
told reporters. "This course is very suitable to me. I think it
is a course for me. It is my course."

Brier slid from the top after hitting three bogeys in a 73
while Chapchai, tied for fourth after the first round, picked up a
shot on the opening nine to rise to a share of second, two off the
pace.

Ireland's Paul McGinley fired six birdies in his
5-under 67 for the best round of the day. He shared
fourth place with Spaniard Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, who shot 70,
three strokes behind the leader.

Leader Choi bogeyed his first hole but quickly recovered
with two birdies in a row at the fifth and sixth. He picked up
further shots at the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th, before dropping
a one at the 15th.

"I did a three-putt at the first hole and felt that I had to
work harder. I kept this in mind during the whole tournament,"
the South Korean said.

Choi, who did not turn professional until he was 28, was
confident of his mental strength for the coming rounds.

"Actually I don't have any special strategy for the next two
rounds ... In the third and final rounds I will just focus on
the putting and approaching shots, which I think are the key
points for winning the tournament," he said.

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie carded a second
successive 73 to remain 2-over.

Irish defending champion Damien McGrane carded three bogeys
to finish with a 74 and is 2-over for the event.

Bogeys at the first and fourth followed by double bogey at
the eighth left home favorite Liang Wenchong with a two over on
his card.