Jake Stirling of Australia stayed patient in the windy conditions to snatch the halfway stage lead with a five-under-par 67 at The Bali National Golf Championship on Friday.
The 26-year-old holed a 40 feet chip-in eagle on the 16th hole to lead by two shots on a nine-under-par 135 total at the US$76,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event staged at the scenic Bali National Golf Club.
Current Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei and Matthew Giles of Australia posted a 70 and 69 respectively to share second place while Khalin Joshi of India was a further shot back.
Overnight leader Gyeongjun Lee of Korea slipped down the leaderboard following a 75.
Stirling, who won his first ADT title earlier in June, kept things simple and was rewarded with four birdies and one eagle.
“I can understand why the scores are a little bit high but I managed to keep the ball low and stay patient on the greens. I started to hit it a bit lower and that kind of game suits this golf course. That’s one of the reasons why I’m right up there,” said Stirling.
“If you are frustrated, you tend to swing harder. A lot of good golfers go the other way. I’m still trying to work it out. Stay patient, relaxed and keeping it really basic seem to help my game,” he added.
Hsieh endured a mix round highlighted by an eagle three on the 13th hole which kept him in the hunt for a third ADT title.
“I feel that my game wasn’t good today but I tried to slow my tempo down on every hole and focus on my shots. I saw that the afternoon scores are not good so I’m very happy with a two-under,” said Hsieh.
After struggling with a cold putter, the 22-year-old Joshi had something to smile about when he chipped in for birdie on the challenging 17th hole par three island green.
“I’m disappointed with my round. I didn’t putt or hit the ball good. Overall it was a bad day but I’m happy with my birdie on 17. That birdie sort of gave me some positives when I ended my round,” said Joshi.
The Bali National Golf Championship will be the 15th leg of the 2015 ADT season and also the first of the three stops in Indonesia. Admission to The Bali National Golf Championship is free.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 22 tournaments in 2015.
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:
135 – Jake STIRLING (AUS) 68 67
137 – HSIEH Chi-hsien (TWN) 67 70, Matthew GILES (AUS) 68 69
138 – Khalin JOSHI (IND) 67 71
139 – Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 70 69, Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 69 70, Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 67 72, Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN) 69 70
140 – Gyeongjun LEE (KOR) 65 75
141 – Sean RIORDAN (NZL) 67 74, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69 72
142 – Arie Irawan (MAS) 71 71, Himmat RAI (IND) 73 69, Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN) 70 72, William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 69 73
143 – Benita YUNIARTO (INA) 72 71, Ratchapol JANTAVARA (THA) 72 71, CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 72 71, Unho PARK (AUS) 73 70, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 74 69, Jinwoo PARK (KOR) 71 72
144 – Blake SNYDER (USA) 71 73, Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 74 70, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 73 71, Josh SALAH (USA) 71 73, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 73 71, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 71 73, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 71 73