One-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner Masaru Takahashi of Japan fired a superb eight-under-par 64 to seize the clubhouse lead in the second round of the PGM Rahman Putra Championship, which was disrupted by inclement weather, on Thursday.
The slightly-built Masaru, who opened his campaign with a 67, produced a near perfect card in the calm morning conditions which included seven birdies, one eagle and a lone bogey to settle for a 13-under-par 131 total at the Rahman Putra Golf Club.
Malaysia’s Zamri Sariff battled to a 70 to stay six shots off the pace while Thailand’s Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (71), Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume (69) and local prospect Khor Kheng Hwai (70) totalled matching 138s at the RM250,000 (approximately US$69,250) ADT event.
Play was suspended at 3.29pm local time due to heavy rain before resuming at 6pm. It was later abandoned for the day at 7.22pm due to fading lights. A total of 42 players will return to the Rahman Putra Golf Club to resume their second rounds at 7.30am on Friday morning with the third round not expected to start before 10am.
Masaru, who started from the first hole, got off to a stunning run where he sank five birdies in his outward nine and sank an eagle for the second straight time on the 10th hole before trading two birdies against a lone bogey in his closing four holes.
“I played really solid today. I told myself to stick to my game and keep to my own pace. It has been a long day but I am very happy with my result,” said Masaru, who had returned in the morning to complete his remaining two holes from the first round.
“I putted really well today. The birdies just kept coming and I felt confident throughout the round. Hopefully the putter stays hot in the next two rounds,” added the 28-year-old Japanese, who amassed 25 putts.
The winner of the PGM Rahman Putra Championship will take home a prize purse of US$12,118 and receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties also earn points based on a sliding scale.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 22 tournaments this season.
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 OWGR points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading second round scores
131 – Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 67-64
137 – Zamri SARIFF (MAS) 67-70
138 – Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) 67-71, Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN) 69-69, KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS) 68-70
139 – Jack MUNRO (AUS) 66-73, Gyeongjun LEE (KOR) 71-68