Kuala Lumpur, November 7 - Thailand’s Sattaya Supupramai carded a second consecutive five-under-par 67 to seize the halfway lead at the PGM UMW Impian Championship on Friday.
Sattaya, who took a share of the opening round lead, returned to the Impian Golf and Country Club on Friday morning to complete the last four holes of his second round, marking his card with one eagle and four birdies against a lone bogey.
The two-time ADT winner holds a two-shot lead over Malaysian duo Ben Leong and R. Nachimuthu, who signed for rounds of 69 and 66 respectively at the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
The third round of the PGM UMW Impian Championship has commenced at 10.00am local time. The halfway cut was set at three-over-par with a total of 52 players progressing into the final two rounds. Sattaya will tee off at 11.20am with Leong and Nachimuthu.
Indonesian junior amateur Tirto Tamardi surprised the field by shooting a second round 68, which put him in 20th place halfway. He's the only amateur player making the cut, a major achievement for this 15-year old from Surabaya. Countryman Jordan Irawan (77) had more difficulties, and his tally of 154 means he misses the cut.
Local hope Kemarol Baharin sits in fourth place on 137 following a 69 while compatriot Airil Rizman posted a second straight 69 to stay one shot back in fifth place with Annop Tangkamolprasert of Thailand at the PGM UMW Impian Championship, which is the penultimate tournament of the 2014 ADT season.
Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, placed second on the Order of Merit, recorded a 68 to share seventh place with four other players while Order of Merit leader Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand stayed 11 shots off the pace in tied-37th position.
Sattaya, who enjoyed a top-10 finish at the Asian Tour’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in September, is relieved to regain some of his best form this week.
“I told myself not to think so much out there. I just play my own game. I felt my swing was better these two days. It was a little off for the past few weeks but it’s much better now. I will keep to the same game plan and continue to do what I’ve been doing,” said the 30-year-old Thai.
Leong, who sat out the entire 2013 season due to a back injury, regained confidence in his game following two commendable rounds at the PGM UMW Impian Championship.
“The back to back birdies after the turn made me believe in my round again, especially after shooting nine straight pars on the front nine. Today’s round was a test of my character and my patience. I missed a few putts which I shouldn’t have but this is golf,” said the 28-year-old Malaysian.
Leong, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour but not since 2008, had showed glimpses of his old form when he won a domestic tournament in August.
“I’m trying to get to a final score of 12-under-par this week. I will just play within myself. It’s a goal for me to achieve. I haven’t been playing for a month and I’ve been struggling with my putting after the win. My goal was to win once this year and I have already done it. A second win would be a bonus but I am not thinking a lot about it right now,” added Leong.
Nachimuthu, winner of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Order of Merit in 2011, is delighted to soar into the lead after marking his card with one eagle and five birdies against a lone bogey.
“I got off to a great start from the 10th with three birdies in four holes. I had a pretty solid round today. I hit the ball good and I putted well too. I will keep to the same game plan for the next two rounds and we will see how it goes,” said the local stalwart, who sank a 10-foot putt for eagle on the third hole.
Since its inauguration in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2015.
All ADT events also receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points which is a boost for the game in the region.
Leading second round scores:
134 – Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 67-67
136 – R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 70-66, Ben LEONG (MAS) 67-69
137 – Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) 68-69
138 – Airil Rizman (MAS) 69-69, Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 68-70
139 – CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 71-68, Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) 70-69, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 68-71, Mohd Amli MOHIYADEEN (MAS) 69-70, Somsak KAOPRATUM (THA) 70-69
142 - Tirto TAMARDI (A) (INA) 74-68
154 - Jordan IRAWAN (INA) 77-77