Malaysia’s Khor Kheng Hwai served notice of his talent yesterday, carding a four-under 68 to take a share of the second-round lead with Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship at the Linkou International Golf Club.
Chan had a closing eagle on the 18th hole to thank for a share of the lead with Khor after he posted a two-day total of five-under 139 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat signed for a 71 for a third-place tie alongside Lu Wen-teh and Lin Keng-chi of Taiwan on matching 140s.
Photo: AFP/WORLD SPORT GROUP/KHALID REDZA
Defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand got his campaign back on track after he carded a 68 to stay two shots behind the leaders in equal sixth alongside Taiwan’s Chen Hao-sen, Chiang Chen-chih and Mars Pucay of the Philippines.
Chan, who started the day tied in 32nd after an opening 72, made his quick move up the leaderboard with three birdies in his opening four holes. After reaching the turn in 33, he traded two bogeys against two birdies in his next five holes.
A magical eagle-three on the par-five 18th then brought him back to the top for a share of the lead with Khor.
“Overall, I’m happy with how I’ve played today. The eagle on the 18th was especially sweet as it’s always nice to see your name right at the top of the leaderboard,” Chan said.
Khor, who suffered from leg cramps during his round, hopes he can finally fulfill his true potential after another solid round where his only blemish was a bogey on the par-four second.
“I’m pleasantly surprised with how I’ve played the last two rounds as I’ve been struggling with my game the whole year, but when I came out to play during the practice rounds, I started hitting the ball very well and it surprised me as well,” Khor said.
The 26-year-old Malaysian turned professional in 2008, but has often relied on his country exemption status to earn playing opportunities on the Asian Tour.
Chapchai had a promising start after completing his back-nine flawlessly with three birdies on the 11th, 13th and 15th. However, as the winds began to pick up on his inward-nine, the three-time Asian Tour winner began to struggle.
Starting the day tied for 58th place, Thaworn made one of the biggest moves of the day by finishing tied for sixth. After opening with a 73, the 12-time Asian Tour winner got back in touch by blazing the front-nine with three birdies and one eagle.
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