ballantineChinese Taipei’s Liu Yen-hung took the outright lead after he carded a five-under-par 67 in the second round of the US$110,000 Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship on Friday.

Liu, who was caught in the leaderboard logjam after the opening day of the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event, broke free of the chasing pack with his two-day total of 11-under-par 133 at the National Golf Country Club.

Two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, who was also among the overnight leaders, slipped back one spot to second place after signing for a 68 while Malaysia’s Gavin Green continued to show his potential by returning with a 68 to take third place.

Liu continued his solid run at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship with another performance he could take pride in.

After a par-birdie-bogey start in his opening back-nine, Liu stormed ahead towards the turn with three birdies in four holes starting from the par-four 15.

He stumbled briefly with another bogey on the first hole but picked himself up quickly with another pair of birdies on the second and third holes before finishing off his round with another birdie on nine.

“It was another round which I’m proud of. I drove the ball really well today and did not commit many errors except for those two bogeys.

“The plan is to stay patient and remain calm over the weekend. If I can do that, I wouldn’t discount myself from winning this tournament,” said Liu.

Hsieh remained in contention for his third ADT win at a venue which he has emerged victorious before.

While he felt let down by his putting, Hsieh, who is second on the ADT Order of Merit, is confident of another good result this week.

“I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday. I three-putted twice today and cost me dearly. But having said that, I’m still in contention and I’m ready for the weekend charge,” said Hsieh.

Highly rated as one of Malaysia’s most promising talents, Green stayed in the mix for his first professional win since he joined the play-for-pay ranks in June.

Starting on the back-nine, Green mixed two birdies and a bogey in his first four holes before carding a pair of birdies on 15 and 16.

After turning in 33, the Malaysian reached home comfortably with an inward 35 that was marked by two more birdies on holes three and seven as well as another bogey on six.

“I’m hitting the ball a lot better today and overall it was a solid round. This is my first visit to Taiwan and first time playing on this golf course, so naturally I’m pleased with how I’ve performed so far,” said Green, who enjoyed a decorated amateur career at the University of New Mexico in the United States and rose to fifth place on the men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

The ADT will continue to 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

133- LIU Yen-hung (TPE) 66-67

134- HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE) 66-68

135- Gavin GREEN (MAL) 67-68

136- Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 67-69, Brett MUNSON (USA) 70-66, Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 67-69, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 68-68

137- WANG Ter-chang (TPE) 69-68, TSAI Chi-huang (TPE) 71-66, KAO Teng            (TPE) 66-71

138- Peradol PANYATHANASEDH (THA) 69-69, LIEN Lu-sen (TPE) 67-71, Arie Irawan(MAL) 72-66, LIN Chien-bing     (TPE) 71-67, WANG Wei-lun (TPE) 67-71, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 70-68, LIN Yung-lung (TPE) 69-69, HSU Hao-sheng (TPE) 71-67, Panuwat MUENLEK      (THA) 66-72

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