Hot Lewton fires personal-best score

Englishman shoots sizzling nine-under 62 for one-shot advantage over Thailand's Jazz

Steve Lewton plays a shot in the second round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship yesterday.

Nakhon Ratchasima: England's Steve Lewton seized the lead with a sizzling nine-under-par 62 in the second round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship yesterday.

The 35-year-old Englishman produced his personal-best tournament score to lead by one shot with his two-day total of 16-under-par 126 total at the four million baht event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

Home talent Jazz Janewattananond carded a 64 to take second place on 127 while compatriots Itthipat Buranatanyarat (64) and Kosuke Hamamoto (65) and Finland's Janne Kaske (66) share third place on 130 at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

"It was a really great round today. I hit it a lot better and closer than yesterday on a lot of holes but I missed some chances on the front nine. I changed my swing when I was back home and it seems to be working a lot better," said Lewton.

The one-time Asian Tour winner grabbed birdies on holes three, six, 10 and 11 before chipping in from 20 yards for an eagle. He nailed birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to take his place atop the leaderboard in the season opener of both the Asian Development Tour and the All Thailand Golf Tour.

"I hit a good drive down the middle and had about 260 yards to the pin. Then I hit my three-wood dead straight and just chipped in from 20 yards for my eagle," Lewton said.

"My short game was really good but I think my driver was the best part of my game today. I only missed two fairways all day and made 16 greens."

The Englishman, who played the event in 2017, took advantage of his course knowledge and was rewarded for his aggressive approach.

"Having played here in 2017, I came into this week a lot more prepared because I knew I could be more aggressive on some holes. On some tee shots I could take 50 yards off if I took the corners and got the right line," added Lewton.

Jazz had his sharp-shooting iron-play to thank for despite struggling on the greens today. He only missed two greens but totalled 30 putts in his second consecutive bogey-free round.

"It was the same as yesterday, a really solid round. I just couldn't get putts to roll in," said Jazz, who lost in a play-off in 2016 and settled for second place.

Two-time ADT winner Itthipat stole the thunder with a fantastic ace on hole seven from 154-yards with his pitching wedge.

"This is my fourth hole-in-one! I stepped up to the tee and hit a perfect pitching wedge straight at the pin, it took a backspin and went right in. That was definitely the highlight of my round," said the Thai.

Kaske, a two-time ADT winner, was disappointed with his driver which he admitted is usually his strongest part of his game. He made up for it with a hot putter, navigating around the course in 27 putts.

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