Vietnam’s Michael Tran emerged as surprise co-leader halfway through Asia’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters yesterday.
Tran was tied in the Asian Tour top spot with Thai veteran star Thaworn Wiratchant after hitting a four-under-68.
The 22-year-old had contemplated quitting touring life after a lack of success on the Asian Tour, but two impressive rounds at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club may persuade him to change his mind.
After returning in the morning to finish three holes of his weather-disrupted opening round, Tran shot five birdies against a lone bogey to grab joint lead on nine-under-135.
No Vietnamese player has won on the Asian Tour. However, Thaworn, a 13-time winner on the region’s elite circuit, will stand firmly in Tran’s way.
The 45-year-old Thai birdied his last hole for a 69 as he maintained his chase for an unprecedented 14th title in the US$400,000 event.
Australian Marcus Both is a stroke behind the leaders on 69, while Spanish rookie Javi Colomo also fired a 69, which included an eagle on the par-four 11th hole for equal fourth place with the Philippines’ Jhonnel Ababa.
Taiwan’s Lin Wen-tang and compatriot Hsieh Tung-shu were joint 28th with nine others on two-under-par, while compatriot Lu Wen-teh was joint 39th with a score of one-under-par.
Addirional reporting by Staff writer