Australian Scott Hend took advantage of his soaring drives to shoot a five-under 67 and edge into the halfway lead at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open yesterday.
Overnight joint-leader Hend held a one-shot advantage over Thailand’s rising star Kiradech Aphibarnrat with a two-day total of 13-under 131 at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Chang Tse-peng and Lin Win-hong both came tantalizingly close to making the cut, which was three-under. Both had fired opening-round 69s, but one-over 73s yesterday saw them both finish at two-under 142. Also missing the cut were Taiwan’s Hsu Chia-jen, Lu Wen-teh and Lu Tze-shyan.
Kiradech, who won his first Asian Tour title last year, shot a solid 66, while Chinnarat Phadungsil (68) and Ben Fox (69) of the US were a further shot back on 133.
Jesper Kennegard of Sweden set a new course record with a sizzling 63 to tie in fifth place with former European Tour member Wade Ormsby, Kodai Ichihara of Japan, Marcus Both of Australia and Lee Joon of South Korea.
Hend, who was averaging drives of 331 yards yesterday, got off to a strong start, making four birdies and one bogey in the opening five holes. The highlight of his day came on the 10th hole when he sank a 15-feet chip-in birdie.
“I missed a couple of three footers, but it is all positives going into the weekend,” he said, according to an Asian Tour press release.
Kiradech, popular for his grip-it and rip-it style of play, birdied the final three holes to put him within a stroke of the leader and ignite his ambitions for a second Asian Tour victory.
Additional reporting by Staff writer