Westwood surges clear at Malaysian OpenComment on this story
Lee Westwood surged four shots clear at the halfway stage of the European Tour's Malaysian Open on Friday after an eventful second round where Spain's Pablo Larrazabal was forced to dive into a lake to avoid a swarm of hornets.
The former world number one Englishman took his two-day total to 13-under after a six-under-par 66 and put himself in prime position to end an almost two-year trophy drought.
Filipino Antonio Lascuna and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts were his nearest challengers at nine-under.
Westwood has been without a win since claiming the 2012 Nordea Masters in Sweden and the trophy-less spell has seen his world ranking slip to 36.
Westwood matched his eight-birdie opening round again on Friday but was pulled back by a double-bogey on the 11th hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club with his tee-shot ending in the water.
The water proved a haven for Spain's Larrazabal, though, as he encountered the “scariest” moment of his career when he had to dive into a lake after being attacked by hornets on the fifth hole.
“I hit my tee shot just right of the bunker and chipped it out quite well,” Larrazabal, 30, told reporters. “So I'm walking along and suddenly I felt something on my nose.
“I swatted it away and suddenly... they were not bees, they were three times the size of bees. They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time.
“I didn't know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.
“So I ran to the lake, threw my scorecard down, took off my shoes and jumped into the lake. It was the scariest moment of my career, for sure. I've never been so scared.”
Larrazabal, who was stung around 20 times, returned to the course after a couple of injections and a change of shirt and birdied the par-five hole - his 14th.
“The referees and a doctor took me aside and gave me a couple of injections and told me to relax,” he said.
“After the injections I felt a lot better and could continue. Without the help of the referees I couldn't have finished the round, because I was in no state to play golf.
“It looks like I'll be playing the weekend, so tomorrow it will be very, very scary to play that hole.
“I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but hopefully I will play it as quickly as I can.”
Lascuna, 43, had a far more pleasurable day in the Kuala Lumpur heat as he set the early clubhouse target in the $2.75 million Asian Tour co-sanctioned event with a seven-under-par 65 in the morning. His round consisting of eight birdies and a lone bogey.
Belgian Colsaerts, who was a stroke back from Westwood after the opening round, gained four shots on the front nine but suffered a cold putter on the back during a round of three-under-par 69. – Reuters