Terengganu, Malaysia, August 22 - Malaysia’s Airil Rizman and Australia’s Darren Tan hogged the limelight for the second consecutive round of the PGM Terengganu Masters when they returned with matching four-under-par 67s on Thursday.
The overnight leaders totaled 10-under-par 132 to hold a three-shot lead over Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume, who returned with the day’s lowest score of 66, at the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Australia’s Nabil Abdul, England’s Grant Jackson and Rory Hie of Indonesia took a share of fourth place after signing for 69, 67 and 67 respectively at the Awana Kijal Golf & Beach Resort.
Indonesia's George Gandranata (71) and Malaysia's Iain Steel (68) tied for 11th place while ADT Order of Merit leader, James Bowen of the United States, added a 70 to his opening round 72 to make the cut at the PGM Terengganu Masters.
Airil is confident he can win again and is determined to fight his way back into the Asian Tour where he won the Pakistan Open in 2007.
“The win in Pakistan kind of changed my life. It boosted my confidence a lot and I’ve been longing to win again since,” said Airil, who mixed his card with six-birdies against two bogeys.
“I’m happy with how I played and I will stick to the same game plan for the next two rounds. I will try to stay focused and score as low as possible,” added the 35-year-old Malaysian.
Meanwhile Tan, who started playing on the Asian Tour and ADT last year, is hoping for a breakthrough win to make his stay in Asia more memorable and meaningful.
“I’m getting used to playing in Asia especially since I’m based in Kuala Lumpur now. It’s been almost two years and I really enjoy playing here despite the ups and downs in my golf game,” said the 29-year-old.
“I played very steady today. I hope to keep it the same throughout the next two rounds. The ADT is a good stepping stone for me and I’m sure I will be opened to more opportunities if I can clinch a win,” added Tan, who is targeting a top-three finish on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season as that would allow him to earn his Asian Tour card for 2014.
Hashizume credited his solid round to his caddy but played down on his chances of winning.
“I guess I was lucky today and my caddy really helped me a lot. I’m not really confident of winning as my form hasn’t been consistent lately. I will try my best and we will see how things go,” said the Japanese, who clinched his maiden ADT title at the PGM LADA Langkawi Masters in April.
The halfway cut was set at two-over-par 144 with 53 players advancing into the final two rounds. Indonesian amateur William Sjaichudin, despite a commendable score of 70 in his second round, missed the cut with a total of 147 over the two rounds.
Leading second round scores:
132 – Darren TAN (AUS) 65-67, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 65-67
135 – Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN) 69-66
136 – Rory HIE (INA) 69-67, Nabil ABDUL (AUS) 67-69, Grant JACKSON (ENG) 69-67
137 – S. Siva CHANDHRAN (MAS) 68-69, Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 69-68, Rufino BAYRON (PHI) 70-67, Man O IM (USA) 69-68
138 – George GANDRANATA (INA) 67-71, Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 71-67, Iain STEEL (MAS) 70-68
147 - William SJAICHUDIN (A) (INA) 77-70