sport

Kruger holds Hong Kong lead

South African Jbe Kruger paid tribute to his country's former president Nelson Mandela after claiming the halfway lead in the Hong Kong Open.

Kruger carded a second round of 66, aided by a run of six birdies in seven holes on the back nine, to finish seven under par, one shot ahead of Wales' Stuart Manley.

The 27-year-old wore two black ribbons as a mark of respect to Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95, and said: "Wearing these is an honour.

"Our country lost a real live hero. He was one of the best people and presidents I have ever seen. I don't know if our country will ever have (another) leader like that. To be able to turn the other cheek when you have been 27 years in prison....

"It will definitely affect white and black in our country. He fought for the black South Africans but the white South Africans love him just as much because he's got a good heart, a heart of gold and that makes a big difference."

Manley carded a second consecutive 67 to lie six under par, one ahead of veteran German Alex Cjeka, Australian Wade Ormsby and India's Shiv Kapur.

The 34-year-old from Mountain Ash hit the headlines recently by following a hole-in-one with an 11 on the next hole during the third round of the World Cup at Royal Melbourne.

Manley, who thought he had won a Mercedes car for his ace before being told it was only on offer during the final round, went on to finish joint eighth, having only secured his European Tour card a few days earlier via the qualifying school.

"I started a bit scrappy today but after the first few holes I played lovely, hit the ball much better than yesterday and made some good putts," Manley said.

"I had a few birdies in a row, on some tough holes as well on 17, 18 and one, especially 18 and one which are very tough holes. Even pars on them holes are good so to make birdie I was over the moon.

"There is a lot of golf to go and a lot of good players around me so I will have to play well this weekend."

Miguel Angel Jimenez kept his hopes of a record-equalling fourth title alive despite a disappointing finish to his second round.

Jimenez can join Hsieh Yung-yo of Taiwan as a four-time winner of the event after previous wins in 2005, 2008 and 2012, the latter seeing him become the oldest winner in European Tour history aged 48 years and 318 days.

A first round of 70 left the veteran Spaniard six shots off the lead, but five birdies in his first six holes and another on the third had Jimenez right back in contention.

However, the 49-year-old then dropped shots at the fifth, ninth and 10th - his final hole after starting at the 11th - to card a 67 and finish three under par.

"I played very well with birdies on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th and a birdie on number three, but then the magic stopped," Jimenez told Sky Sports. "The greens are very fast, you have to take care. I three-putted the fifth but I am happy, I don't feel like I putted badly but it happens.

"I thought about a low score after the first few holes but you have to respect this golf course. It's not very long but you have to get the ball in place every single time and you have to be very careful with the greens because they are firm and fast."

First round leader David Higgins slumped to a 74, 10 shots worse than his opening round, to lie five off the lead on two under.