Rafa Cabrera Bello will take a two stroke lead into the weekend at the Thailand Classic after carding a second round seven under par 65.
The Spaniard, whose last victory came in 2021 at the acciona Open de España, carded seven birdies on his final ten holes to move two strokes clear of Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti at Amata Spring Country Club.
The 2016 Ryder Cup player started his day with birdies on the 11th and 12th holes, but undid his work after finding the water at the island green par three 17th hole, carding a double bogey. He recovered immediately with three consecutive birdies and then made four in a row from the fifth hole as he signed for a 13 under par total.
Zanotti, who won his last DP World Tour title in South East Asia at the 2017 Maybank Championship, carded a five under par round of 65 to move to 11 under, one stroke clear of six golfers.
Among those sharing third on ten under are Japan’s Kazuki Higa, who carded the low round of the day, an eight under par 64, and 2018 Ryder Cup player Thorbjørn Olesen.
Leading the home charge is Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who shares ninth place after reaching nine under par after two days in Thailand.
Rafa Cabrera Bello: “17 is a tough hole and it was pretty windy. I got a wind gust, I didn’t hit that bad of a shot, but it is what it is. I just kept my head down and kept focusing on what I was doing. The birdie on 18 put me right back on track and I played an excellent front nine.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work over the break on my swing and trying to make it better. I feel some weeks it really clicks, other weeks it’s not quite there. I’m trending in the right direction and happy the swing is feeling good this week and I’m making good scores.”
Fabrizio Zanotti: “I was able to take advantage of the par fives. Today it was a little tricky with the wind, you need those birdies so you can play a little more relaxed on the tough holes.
“I like this weather. The weather in my country is pretty much like this, it’s really hot. So I’m used to it. It feels good.
“16 years on Tour is a lot, I feel old already with all these kids coming out. I’m pretty happy with my career but obviously I want a few more wins. I worked a lot to have those wins and hopefully in the next years I can have a few more.”
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: “I started very good and I’m playing very solid golf. Tee to green was lovely, I was striking the ball exactly where I wanted. The putter was a little cold on the back nine and I left a couple of shots on the golf course. Overall, still a decent move.
“Try to keep the ball in play. If my day is going well and my putts drop, I can have a really low round here. You need to make sure you don’t make crazy mistakes, there’s a lot of water. Some of the holes are short, but if you miss it might hurt. So you need to make sure the ball is in the right position and hope the putter is rolling well.”