Howell's 11-birdie round worth TCL lead

March 17, 2006 at 4:51 PM

SANYA, China, March 17 (UPI) -- England's David Howell shot a career-best 63 Friday, putting him at a tournament-leading 17 under par halfway through the TCL Classic in Sanya, China.

Howell followed up his 8-under 64 on Thursday with a 63 in the second round to take a 2-stroke lead over Australian Andrew Buckle. Howell had 11 birdies on the day, one shy of the tour record for a round, and missed a 5-footer on the par-5 18th hole that would have tied that mark after carding a bogey 5 on the par-4 17th.

"My caddie just gave me a telling off as I was a little disappointed to finish 5, 5," Howell said. "But I have just had ... my best score two days in a row, so I have got to be happy."

Buckle shot a 6-under 66 in the second round to get to 15-under-par 129.

Edward Loar, who shared the first-round lead with Liang Wen-Chong after both fired course-record 62s in the first round, leads a group of four players tied for third place at 13-under-par 131.

Topics: David Howell
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