Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond shot an inspired course record 10-under-par 62 to take the lead at the halfway mark of the International Series Vietnam today at KN Golf Links, in Cam Ranh, on the south-central coast of Vietnam.

Eight birdies, an eagle, and his second successive bogey-free round saw him move to 13 under par for the US$2 million event, which gave him a one-shot advantage over Kieran Vincent from Zimbabwe.

Vincent, younger brother of Scott Vincent, last year’s International Series Order of Merit winner returned a 65, while Japan’s Takumi Kanaya (64), Chapchai Nirat (65) from Thailand,

Filipino Miguel Tabuena (67), Korea’s Taehee Lee (68), and overnight leader Bai Zhengkai (69) from China are one shot further back.

England’s Paul Casey, the event’s marquee player, shot a 64, 10 shots better than his first round, to get back in contention on six under for the tournament.

“I mean, it passes by pretty quick when you’re playing good,” said Jazz, who won the International Series Morocco last November for his first Asian Tour win in three years.

“I hit most of the fairways, most of the greens and holed some putts, that’s about it. I mean, this golf course is a risk and reward golf course, right? If you don’t miss the fairways, it’s not gonna punish you that bad. I only missed a couple of so far, so that’s why the score reflects that. I had a couple of close calls with the bogeys but managed to have some good putts and hole some big pars.”

The 27-year-old’s performance is yet further evidence that his best form is returning, especially coming off the back of two joint sixth place finishes in the previous two Asian Tour events.

He said: “I mean, it’s close, right? Like finishing sixth or anywhere in the top 10 is so close to breaking through to the win. It’s just a very fine line to just jump across, so hopefully this is the week I jump across.”

The seven-time Asian Tour winner started his round on the 10th and caught fire starting from the 14th making three birdies and then an eagle, before also touring the front nine in 31 with five birdies.

Vincent, in only his second year in the professional game, was also bogey free, and after beginning on the first he made the turn in three under before a fantastic finish saw him birdie four of his last five holes, including 17 and 18.

He said: “It was good. It was enjoyable, had a good group out there. Just remained patient and just enjoyed my time, so it was a great day. Love being out here in Vietnam, first time here so just soaking it in.

“Obviously, you know, you look to start off fast but it’s all about the finish. And you know, that’s kind of the way I try and picture it, you know, a good strong start can get you in position but it’s the way you finish is how you’re going to actually finish up there on the leaderboard. So, I was just thankful that we had some good numbers, and we were able to kind of hit the targets that we aimed at, so lucky for that.”

The Zimbabwean made a brilliant birdie on par four last, getting up and down from a bunker 50 yards from the putting surface.

“It came out a little bit better than I expected,” he said.

“The ball was a little bit below the feet but lucky enough that it just kind of checked up on the green there, and actually ended up lipping out. So got a little lucky with the way it kind of panned out. But, you know, luckily, we were able to practice those. The green near the practice bunker here is about 40 yards, so I was lucky enough to get a decent amount of practice in before this.”

Takumi is making his first appearance on the Asian Tour since winning the International Series Oman in February – which saw him become the first player from his country to win on the Asian Tour.

“From playing in Oman and coming into this week, my overall game has felt great,” said the Japanese star.

“I’m really happy with my play over the last couple of days. Playing on the Asian Tour has been a fantastic experience, and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.

“Winning in Oman was the spark that gave me the confidence coming into this week, so winning again with a field as strong as this week’s will give me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season.”

American Andy Ogletree, the current leader of the Asian Tour and International Series Order of Merit, carded a 68 and, like Casey, is six under, in a tie for 25th, with the tournament wide open heading into what will be an exciting weekend.  

Scores after round 2 of the International Series Vietnam being played at the par 72, 7158 Yards KN Golf Link course (am – denotes amateur):
131 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 69-62.
132 – Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 67-65.
133 – Takumi Kanaya (JPN) 69-64, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 68-65, Bai Zhengkai (CHN) 64-69, Taehee Lee (KOR) 65-68, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 66-67.
135 – Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 68-67, Ian Snyman (RSA) 68-67, Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 69-66, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 67-68.
136 – Douglas Klein (AUS) 66-70, Kevin Yuan (AUS) 67-69, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 71-65, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 68-68, Chen Guxin (CHN) 66-70, Ben Jones (ENG) 69-67.
137 – Matthew Cheung (HKG) 67-70, Wang Wei-hsuan (TPE) 70-67, Minkyu Kim (KOR) 68-69, Ding Wenyi (am, CHN) 68-69, Todd Sinnott (AUS) 70-67, Nicholas Fung (MAS) 68-69, Lee Chieh-po (TPE) 65-72.
138 – S. Chikkarangappa (IND) 69-69, Travis Smyth (AUS) 72-66, Andy Ogletree (USA) 70-68, Paul Casey (ENG) 74-64, Michael Maguire (USA) 66-72, Yonggu Shin (CAN) 70-68, Honey Baisoya (IND) 65-73, John Lyras (AUS) 69-69, Justin Quiban (PHI) 67-71.
139 – Ratchanon Chantananuwat (am, THA) 72-67, Ryo Hisatsune (JPN) 71-68, Zach Murray (AUS) 68-71, Jarin Todd (USA) 71-68, David Drysdale (SCO) 69-70, Settee Prakongvech (THA) 70-69, Steve Lewton (ENG) 71-68, David Puig (ESP) 72-67, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 69-70, Bio Kim (KOR) 68-71, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 71-68, Andy Zhang (CHN) 71-68, Jeremy Gandon (FRA) 67-72.
140 – Nick Voke (NZL) 69-71, Berry Henson (USA) 70-70, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 69-71, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 66-74, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 72-68, Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 73-67, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 70-70, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 68-72, Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij (THA) 72-68, Kartik Sharma (IND) 67-73, Micah Lauren Shin (USA) 71-69, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 68-72, Sangmoon Bae (KOR) 69-71, Trevor Simsby (USA) 71-69, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 68-72, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 71-69, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 69-71, Turk Pettit (USA) 68-72, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 71-69, Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 68-72.
141 – Shunya Takeyasu (JPN) 72-69, Jaewoong Eom (KOR) 73-68, Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 71-70, Kyongjun Moon (KOR) 69-72, Matt Killen (ENG) 68-73, Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 69-72, Mikumu Horikawa (JPN) 69-72, Danthai Boonma (THA) 71-70, Yikeun Chang (KOR) 68-73, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 72-69, Richard T. Lee (CAN) 68-73.
142 – Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (THA) 71-71, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 73-69, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 76-66, Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN) 71-71, Rashid Khan (IND) 70-72, Tom Power Horan (AUS) 69-73, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 66-76, Shiv Kapur (IND) 69-73, Michael Tran (VNM) 72-70, Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 70-72, Alex Ching (USA) 67-75, Le Khanh Hung (am, VNM) 70-72.
143 – Dominic Foos (GER) 71-72, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 74-69, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 67-76, Jack Murdoch (AUS) 69-74, Dru Love (USA) 68-75, Khalin Joshi (IND) 69-74, Ryosuke Kinoshita (JPN) 72-71, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 70-73.
144 – Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 74-70, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 72-72, Scott Hend (AUS) 72-72, Doan Uy (am, VNM) 68-76, Yosuke Asaji (JPN) 69-75, David Hague (ENG) 73-71.
145 – Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 72-73, Jack Thompson (AUS) 71-74, Shahriffuddin Ariffin (MAS) 68-77, Runchanapong Youprayong (THA) 72-73, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 71-74, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 72-73, Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 71-74, Ben Leong (MAS) 71-74, Nick Paez (USA) 72-73, Ye Wocheng (CHN) 69-76.
146 – Ben Campbell (NZL) 70-76, Natipong Srithong (THA) 73-73, Taichi Kho (HKG) 72-74, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 71-75, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 77-69, Prom Meesawat (THA) 71-75, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 67-79, Yuki Inamori (JPN) 74-72, Matt Sharpstene (USA) 71-75, Tanapat Pichaikool (THA) 71-75, Nguyen Anh Minh (am, VNM) 71-75.
147 – Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 75-72, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 72-75, Hanmil Jung (KOR) 72-75.
148 – Angelo Que (PHI) 77-71, Neil Schietekat (RSA) 70-78, Viraj Madappa (IND) 72-76, Nguyen Dang Minh (am, VNM) 75-73, Harrison Gilbert-Wong (AUS) 72-76, Saud Al Sharif (KSA) 72-76, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 73-75, Yeongsu Kim (KOR) 73-75, Woohyun Kim (KOR) 73-75.
149 – Mj Viljoen (RSA) 73-76, Justin Harding (RSA) 76-73.
150 – Poom Saksansin (THA) 76-74, Taewoo Kim #1468 (KOR) 70-80.
151 – Faisal Salhab (KSA) 78-73, Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra (INA) 77-74, Nguyen Huu Quyet (VNM) 76-75.
152 – Doan Van Dinh (VNM) 80-72.
153 – Quan Chi Truong (VNM) 75-78.
154 – Dinh Song Hai (VNM) 74-80, Minh Duc Pham (VNM) 78-76.
155 – Tomoyo Ikemura (JPN) 76-79, Le Dai Duong (VNM) 78-77.
156 – Othman Almulla (KSA) 75-81.
158 – Nguyen Tuan Kiet (VNM) 78-80.
160 – Dang Quang Anh (am, VNM) 83-77.
162 – Le Viet Cuong (VNM) 82-80.
-3 (141) was the final cut, 77 players made the cut

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