Singapore – Britain’s Paul Casey took the joint lead on the second day of the Singapore Open Friday with his Thai “nemesis” Poom Saksansin as their friendly rivalry extended from last year.
Poom, 25, dubbed the “baby-faced assassin” for scoring upsets on the golf course, had beaten Casey by one hole in the EurAsia Cup that pitted European and Asian teams last year in Malaysia.
Casey, who at world number 24 is the highest ranked player in the Singapore tournament, admitted earlier this week he has a healthy respect for Poom.
Just last month, the Thai edged out world number two Justin Rose and Major champion Henrik Stenson to win the Indonesian Masters in December.
Both players renewed their rivalry at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club on Friday tied atop the leaderboard on 135 after two days of play.
The Japanese duo of Taihei Sato and Shotaro Wada were tied a stroke behind at 136.
Heavy rains and lighting disrupted play on the opening day, with 78 players – including Casey and Poom – having to complete their first round early Friday before proceeding into round two.
Almost two hours were lost again on day two due to inclement weather, with 76 players unable to finish the round.
Poom birdied four of his last five holes to complete his first round with a score of 65. He returned after a 45-minute break to tee off for the second round and finished with a 70 after two birdies and a bogey.
Casey, 41, completed his first round with three birdies for 68 and followed up with a four-under 67.
“It has been a long day but I am very happy,” said Poom, who along with Casey played 25 holes on Friday.
Casey, 41, said the rains made the course trickier but added it was good to share the lead with the Thai.
“Poom, my nemesis… he’s just played a marvellous round of golf again. I can’t seem to beat the guy, but I’m in good spirits,” he said.
“It’s been a long day, feet are starting to hurt, I’m looking forward to rest.”
Poom said: “It was nice playing alongside Paul Casey. I played my own game and he was focused on his too. We spoke a bit.”
Defending champion Sergio Garcia of Spain, who was hobbled by a sinus infection and an upset stomach on Thursday, mixed three birdies with two bogeys Friday.
He had yet to finish the round when play was stopped due to darkness.