IM this article to a friend!

February 20, 2004

South Korean Lee shares lead halfway through second round

From: Reuters, United States - Feb 20, 2004

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 (Reuters) - South Korean Lee Sung-man worked his way into a share of the lead midway through the second round of the Malaysian Open on Friday.

Lee carded a four-under-par 68 to move to seven under and is tied with Thailand's Thaworn Wirarchant in the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event on the Saujana course in Kuala Lumpur.

Ireland's Paul McGinley, with a round of 70, is tied in third place with American Gregory Hanrahan.

Lee, deaf from birth, communicates by lip-reading through his father, who travels with him at all times.

No stranger to leading an event having been in front in the second round of last year's Omaha Classic and third round of the Chatanooga Classic, he has tried unsuccessfully the last four years to earn his US PGA Tour card.

The 24-year-old Lee competed on the secondary Nationwide Tour in the United States from 2000 to last year and last month earned his 2004 Asian Tour card after finishing first at the qualifying school.

McGinley, striving for a first success since winning the 2001 Welsh Open, managed four birdies in his round and said he is finally benefiting from new technology.

"The last time I was in Malaysia was four years ago and the best I could do on the par fives was 50 to 60 yards short of the green but with two good shots I can hit them now," he said.

Fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington carded a disappointing 74 to end at one under par.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.