Rumford eyes top-eight finish in Perth

Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand watches his tee shot on the 14th hole

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ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth defending champion Brett Rumford and former world No.1 Lee Westwood are locked at the top of the leaderboard after the second round at Lake Karrinyup Country Club today.

Rumford denied he was getting an advantage from playing with Westwood ahead of a potential showdown in the six-hole match play on Sunday.

Thorbjorn Olesen is also in position to contend after an impressive second round of 67 took him to seven under.

The pair finished a windy day on Friday in a tie for 43rd at one-under, the only golfers of the nine-man New Zealand contingent to survive the traditional 36-hole cut.

Rumford was the overnight leader after shooting an eight-under 64 on Thursday, and he still holds the lead despite not teeing off in his second round yet.

"I'm happy to have signed for 72, happy to be tied for the lead and obviously happy that I'm in that top eight".

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Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (five-under) briefly shot to the lead on Friday before four-straight bogeys on his back nine saw him drop back to the pack.

"It was right from the word go".

West Australian Min Woo Lee is the only amateur in the field and he is well placed to qualify for the final day after finishing his opening two rounds at five-under. It just hit you on the first tee, it was just bang, straight in your face.

Duncan Stewart, who qualified for the match-play stage after a play-off 12 months ago, fell after the first cut on this occasion, as did Connor Syme and Thai-based Simon Yates.

"Every single hole looked different to yesterday, the way it played, your landing areas, everything".

But England's 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett and cult hero Andrew "Beef" Johnston won't be there after missing the cut. "You really have to have your wits about you".

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The top-eight players entering the final day earn a crucial bye in the first round of match play.

To be perfectly honest, match play is anybody's.

The tournament is played under an unusual format, whereby there are three rounds of strokeplay before the field is reduced to 24 players for Sunday - when a six-hole match play event will decide the victor.

"You're going to need a lot of luck", he said.

Concurring, Rumford said: "That's as tricky as the golf course gets, no doubt".

"I think it's exciting for the fans and the format of the game".

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