Veteran playmakers Siddikur Rahman and Chapchai Nirat rekindled the kind of magic that saw them win multiple titles on the Asian Tour by taking a share of the halfway lead in the US$400,000 Taiwan Glass Taifong Open today at Taifong Golf Club.

Bangladesh’s long-time number one golfer Siddikur, who is in 89th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and striving to keep his Tour card with just one more event to go after this week, carded a six-under-par 66, while Chapchai, from Thailand, shot his second successive 67.

They lead on 10 under by one from Chinese Taipei’s Liao Huan-jyun, the joint first-round leader, and Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai, who returned rounds of 70 and 67 respectively.

Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Natipong Srithong, after rounds of 67 and 69, are an additional stroke behind.

Rahman, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour with the most recent being the Hero Indian Open a decade ago, collected eight birdies and dropped two shots.

“It was a wonderful day, and my feeling was excellent,” said the 39-year-old from Dhaka.

“I don’t think so much about trying to keep my card because if I think about it the pressure will be on me, so I don’t want that pressure. I just want to enjoy my game, that was the plan, and this is the plan that will remain.”

Rahman has comfortably retained his Tour card for the past 12 seasons on the Asian Tour and will need to draw on all his experience to do so again this year to finish in the top-65. The final event is the Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund, the week after next.

He added: “I have been playing well but I just could not score well, but I still have a strong belief that I can still score well, that is the inspiration for me.”

Chapchai, aged 40, birdied the 17th and eagled the 18th, both par fives to leapfrog to the top. He made five birdies in total and two bogeys.

“I am just here to enjoy myself,” said the Thai golfer, a four-time winner on the Asian Tour.

“The first time I played here it was difficult but last year I found it ok. Not too much thinking at the weekend is the most important thing.”

He’s attempting to win his first Asian Tour title in nine years, a target he has set himself over the past two seasons after deciding to refocus and work harder on his game with his coach, as well as improve his fitness. 

Unlike the majority of the front runners, Liao, who led after a first-round 65, wasn’t able to make up ground on the two par five closing holes, as he made par on both, but he is well and truly in the hunt, at the forefront of the local challenge.

“Yesterday was my first time getting a share of the lead on the Asian Tour,” explained the 22-year-old, who plays on the Taiwan PGA Tour. 

“I felt good but no pressure. I just went out and played today, didn’t think too much. I putted well, made a few good par saves, like the six-footer on the 18th and the first hole. 

“I am surprised to still be close to the lead because I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday. Going to keep things the same for the next two rounds and see how it goes. I would love to go to the Asian Tour Qualifying School, but I will have to wait another year as I’m going into the army next month.”

Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin, who also shared the first-round lead, fired a 73 and is six under in a tie for ninth.

One of the players he is tied with is Thailand’s Poom Saksansin, who came in with a 71.

He needs to win to have an outside chance of catching runaway Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Andy Ogletree from the United States, who is not competing this week.

The Thai golfer is in fifth place on the Merit list and is the only player who can catch the American, but he’ll also need to win the Saudi event.

He will be disappointed to have dropped shots on his 10th and 12th but is well-placed heading into the weekend.

Scores after round 2 of the Taiwan Glass Taifong Open being played at the par 72, 7302 Yards Taifong GC course (am – denotes amateur):
134 – Chapchai Nirat (THA) 67-67, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 68-66.
135 – Liao Huan-jyun (TWN) 65-70, Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 68-67.
136 – Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 69-67, Natipong Srithong (THA) 67-69.
137 – Seungtaek Lee (KOR) 69-68, Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 66-71.
138 – Cho Tsung-lin (TWN) 68-70, Lu Wei-chih (TWN) 69-69, Ryosuke Kinoshita (JPN) 71-67, Poom Saksansin (THA) 67-71, Hung Chien-yao (TWN) 72-66, Shahriffuddin Ariffin (MAS) 65-73, Liu Yung-hua (TWN) 67-71.
139 – Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN) 68-71, Lee Chieh-po (TWN) 74-65, Todd Sinnott (AUS) 75-64, Ben Leong (MAS) 71-68, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 68-71, Hsieh Chi-hsien (TWN) 69-70, Thitipat Lem (THA) 72-67, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 67-72, Liu Yu-jui (TWN) 67-72.
140 – Hanmil Jung (KOR) 69-71, Chang Wei-lun (TWN) 72-68, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 70-70, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 69-71, K.P. Lin (TWN) 68-72, Tanapat Pichaikool (THA) 68-72, Prom Meesawat (THA) 67-73, Su Ching-hung (TWN) 71-69, Woohyun Kim (KOR) 69-71, Lin Keng-wei (TWN) 69-71.
141 – Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 69-72, Danthai Boonma (THA) 68-73, Doyeob Mun (KOR) 72-69, Huang Chi (TWN) 69-72, Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (THA) 72-69.
142 – Sean Ramos (PHI) 70-72, Lai Chia-i (TWN) 71-71, Yoseop Seo (KOR) 72-70, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 71-71, Chan Shih-chang (TWN) 69-73, Matthew Cheung (HKG) 68-74, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 72-70, Huang Yi-tseng (TWN) 68-74, Liu Yen-hung (TWN) 72-70.
143 – Nicolas Paez (USA) 70-73, Rory Hie (INA) 70-73, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 71-72, Douglas Klein (AUS) 71-72, Matt Sharpstene (USA) 68-75, Hsu Li-peng (TWN) 71-72, Chiu HAN-ting (TWN) 70-73.
144 – Parathakorn Suyasri (THA) 69-75, Angelo Que (PHI) 74-70, Yonggu Shin (CAN) 70-74, Honey Baisoya (IND) 75-69, Huang Kuan-hsun (TWN) 72-72, Kao Teng (TWN) 72-72, James Wilson (ENG) 69-75, Fang Yin-jen (TWN) 70-74, Sejun Yoon (USA) 73-71, Ye Wocheng (CHN) 74-70, Tomoyo Ikemura (JPN) 71-73, Alex Ching (USA) 75-69, Newport Laparojkit (THA) 71-73.
145 – Tseng Tzu-hao (TWN) 75-70, Hung Chao-hsin (TWN) 70-75, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 73-72, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 69-76, Huang Hsiang-hao (TWN) 73-72.
146 – Justin Quiban (PHI) 69-77, Yikeun Chang (KOR) 73-73, Fan Chiang Hao-chuan (TWN) 70-76, Yeongsu Kim (KOR) 71-75, Kartik Sharma (IND) 72-74, Junggon Hwang (KOR) 73-73, Mingyu Cho (KOR) 70-76, Hsieh Tung-hung (TWN) 71-75.
147 – Chen Yi-tong (TWN) 70-77, Nicholas Fung (MAS) 74-73, Tsai Tsung-yu (TWN) 74-73, Chang Tse-yu (TWN) 73-74, Tseng Fu-tung (TWN) 70-77.
148 – Lu Sun-yi (TWN) 75-73, Chiang Chen-chih (TWN) 73-75, Shen Wei-cheng (TWN) 72-76, Jungsoo Yang (KOR) 74-74.
149 – Michael Tran (VIE) 74-75, Tsai Kai-jen (TWN) 75-74, Kasidit Lepkurte (THA) 75-74.
150 – Lin Wen-tang (TWN) 76-74, Hsu Yu-cheng (TWN) 72-78, Sattaya Supupramai (THA) 76-74, Lin Yung-lung (TWN) 74-76, Lu Chien-soon (TWN) 72-78, Lawrence Ting (TWN) 75-75, Andrea Topping (USA) 76-74.
151 – Terrence Ng (HKG) 72-79, Yeh Fu (TWN) 70-81, Shapiyate Mako (TWN) 71-80.
152 – Wang Wei-hsuan (TWN) 73-79, Lai Wei-lun (TWN) 75-77, Abdul Hadi (SGP) 73-79.
153 – Wang Tsung-chieh (TWN) 76-77, Koh Deng Shan (SGP) 75-78, Bongsub Kim (KOR) 73-80, Bai Zhengkai (CHN) 76-77.
155 – Chen Wei-sheng (TWN) 75-80.
156 – S. Vikkash Babu (SGP) 74-82.
158 – Ferdinand Mueller (GER) 79-79, Lin Chang-heng (TWN) 80-78.
166 – Chiu Yu-chia (TWN) 81-85.
+0 (144) was the final cut, 68 players made the cut 

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