Wilson Choo of Malaysia continued his good form by shooting a five-under-par 67 to seize the lead at the halfway stage of the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship on Thursday.
Choo, the joint overnight leader, compiled a two-day total of 13-under-par 131 to open up a three-shot lead over Thailand’s Natthapong Niyomchon, who carded a 66, at the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Thailand’s Nattapong Putta, who also held a share of the overnight lead, signed for a 71 to sit in third place with American Micah Lauren Shin, who posted a 67, at the Gunung Raya Golf Resorts.
Arie Irawan, the highest ranked Malaysian in the world, returned with a 66 to stay five shots off the pace in fifth place while four other players, including Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and local amateur Low Khai Jei, shared sixth on 137.
Choo double bogeyed the 11th hole after losing focus but regained momentum when he holed a 30-footer eagle on the 15th hole before closing with a birdie to keep up his chase for a first ADT win.
“I scrambled a little bit but it was still a good round. I had a good start but I struggled on the 11th and 14th holes. I got a bit nervous and lost my focus but I was glad I managed to recover from it,” said the 25-year-old Choo.
“I’m happy to be in the lead. I will stick to the same game plan for the next two rounds. Everything will be the same for me. Hopefully I can continue to play well and get my first win on the ADT,” added Choo.
A total of 59 players made the halfway cut which was set at even-par 144.
The winner of the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship will take home US$9,678 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading second round scores:
131 – Wilson CHOO (MAS) 64-67
134 – Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 68-66
135 – Nattapong PUTTA (THA) 64-71, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 68-67
136 – Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 70-66
137 – Janne KASKE (FIN) 67-70, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 70-67, Nakarintra RATANAKUL (THA) 70-67, LOW Khai Jei (A) (MAS) 67-70
138 – Torben BAUMANN (GER) 65-73, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 70-68, Jack MUNRO (AUS) 70-68, Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 71-67, Brett MUNSON (USA) 70-68, Pasamet POGAMNERD (THA) 67-71