A jet-lagged and sunburned Jeff Overton set a new course record to share the lead at the halfway point of the Asia Pacific Classic in sweltering Malaysia yesterday.
The American, who has never won on the USPGA Tour and had less than a day’s notice that he was competing, made one eagle and seven birdies to card a nine-under 62 in the co-sanctioned USPGA Tour and Asian Tour showpiece.
It was the big-hitting Overton’s lowest score on the USPGA Tour and he shares the lead with Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson, who made a strong 64. They sit at the top of the leaderboard on 13-under 129.
It might have been even better for Overton, a 28-year-old from Indiana, but he narrowly missed a birdie on the final hole. He looked rueful momentarily before affording himself a small grin.
Fellow American Bo Van Pelt was in third, a shot behind, after he carded a 64.
“A couple of weeks ago I changed clubs. They are awesome and just everything clicked today and I made every putt,” said a delighted Overton, who was on the plane to Kuala Lumpur — via London — at just 12 hours’ notice.
“I got really excited about coming here because I wanted to come last year,” he said, revealing that the clubs that he says have been central to his form failed to immediately arrive with him.
“The clubs came just in time for the tournament, but I felt quite jet-lagged today and at the first hole I told my caddy I didn’t think that I would make it through,” Overton said, adding that he feared he had got sunburn.
“I just wish I had put that last one in,” he said of his narrow birdie chance at the last.
In contrast, it was a disappointing day for first-round leader Robert Allenby at the Mines Resort & Golf Club.
He fired a highly impressive 63 on the first day, but it went wrong for the experienced Australian yesterday, as he had to settle for a 72.
At one point he was forced to pick through trees to search for his ball after skewing his shot. He could barely conceal his disgust with himself as he trudged off the sun-kissed course.
Vijay Singh surged into contention with an impressive seven-under 64 to add to his 72 on the first day, leaving him tied 13th.