Cabrera storms into Singapore Open lead

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SINGAPORE, Nov 2 (Reuters) Argentina's Angel Cabrera fired a scintillating eight-under-par 63 to surge into a two-stroke lead after the second round of a weather-affected Singapore Open today.

The US Open champion began the day in a tie for 24th on even par but stormed up the leaderboard with a course record to move ahead of co-overnight leader Jin Park of the US, who carded a 70.

''I really hit it well off the tee and made everything that I needed to. That was the difference between today and yesterday's round,'' Cabrera told reporters.

''I just stroked the ball very solidly all day, especially on my back nine.'' Starting his round on the 10th, Cabrera was just one under for his round after seven holes before he rattled off seven birdies over the next nine holes to pull clear of the field.

Australia's Adam Scott maintained his push for a hat-trick of titles when he carded a 67 late in the day to climb up to third place, three adrift of Cabrera.

''I feel very comfortable playing here,'' the world number six said.

''Tomorrow is going to be a big day for me. The third round has always been good to me here and I need to do that again.'' POSITIVE MOVE Lee Westwood also made a positive move among the early starters, the Briton ending the second round on four-under after a bogey-free 67 earned him a share of fourth place with co-overnight leader Gavin Flint (72) of Australia.

Play was held up for 70 minutes due to a lightning warning in the mid-afternoon and the break appeared to have a negative effect on American world number two Phil Mickelson and South Korea's KJ Choi.

Both players dropped down the leaderboard to end the day on two-under 140 after matching 72s, joining Vijay Singh and five others in a tie for ninth place.

Tomorrow morning, 37 players will return to the course to complete the second round and the third will commence immediately afterwards.

While Cabrera reeled off the birdies on the demanding Serapong Course, playing partner Ernie Els had a round to forget, the world number four likely to miss the cut after a five-over 76 left him at six-over par for the tournament.

The South African has had a bad week on and off the course after overcoming a bout of food poisoning and fending off questions over critical comments concerning the European Tour.

Els leads the order of merit in Europe but a clash of dates and a commitment to the Singapore Open has opened the door for four other players to overtake him at the Volvo Masters in Spain, the final event on the European Tour.

Els never got going today, slipping out of contention with eight bogeys and a sloppy back-nine of 40.

''I was battling with my swing a bit and on the greens,'' he said. ''I was hoping for a lot better things this week but that's golf. I just have to move on.'' REUTERS AB HT1928

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