Date: January 20, 2007

Hend closes in

Sportal Australian Scott Hend has shot a six-under par round of 66 to move within three strokes of the lead after the second round of the Pakistan Open in Karachi. After carding a two-under par opening round 70, Hend took his overall score to eight-under par and remains in contention for a big slice of the US$300,000 prize purse at the Asian Tour sanctioned event. Englishman Simon Hurd leads the pack at eleven-under par after firing a bogey free seven-under par second round 65 at Karachi Golf Club. With three birdies on the front nine, Hurd then stepped up his performance by scoring three consecutive birdies on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes before adding another on the 16th. Hurd said he was pleased with his performance and remained confident he could retain his form during the final two rounds. “The deciding factor for me is that I had time off the game. I am coming here with a free mind now and just play the game with a smile on my face, and enjoy it,” Hurd said. “I hit 16 greens in regulation today which was the same as yesterday and if I keep doing that, I should be in for a good chance to finish well.” “I can t wait to speak to my wife and baby girl over the phone again today. They probably won t believe it.” Malaysia&aposs Airil Rizman Zahari is in outright second position only two strokes off the pace while Hend is joined by Scotsman Barry Hume and India s Uttam Singh Mundy in equal third. Shane Baxter is the next best Australian in the field at six-under par while countryman Gavin Flint is a further shot back and still in contention. Local favourite Muhammad Shabbir was unable to match his first round heroics where he scored a six-under par round of 66, instead falling back to the pack with an even par second round. Leading scores after the second round of the Pakistan Open at Karachi Golf Club (par 72): -11: Simon Hurd -9: Airil Rizman Zahari -8: Scott Hend (Australia), Uttam Singh Mundy, Barry Hume -7: Ashok Kumar -6: Shane Baxter (Australia), Olle Nordberg, Muhammad Shabbir, Rahill Gangjee, Yeh Chang-ting -5: Lin Chien-bing, Gavin Flint (Australia), Tony Lascuna, Mark Mouland, Imdad Hussain, Chris Rodgers, Jarrod Moseley (Australia) -4: Richard Lee (New Zealand), Guido Van Der Valk, Simon Griffiths, Jim Seki, Vivek Bhandari, Amardip Malik, Rick Gibson, Digvijay Singh Also: -3: Unho Park (Australia), Mitchell Brown (Australia) -2: Brad Kennedy (Australia), Scott Barr (Australia), Stephen Scahill (New Zealand), Marcus Both (Australia) -1: Richard Moir (Australia) E: Adam Le Vesconte (Australia) +1: Michael Wright (Australia) +3: David Gleeson (Australia), Mark Brown (New Zealand) +4: Troy Kennedy (Australia) +5: Rowan Beste (Australia)