Kedah, Malaysia, July 13: Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn fought his way into contention with a second round seven-under-par 65 to lead the PGM Darulaman Championship on Thursday.
Nattawat, who is chasing his breakthrough on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), marked his card with six birdies, one eagle and a bogey to establish a one-shot lead over China’s Liu Yan-wei at the RM200,000 (approximately US$44,600) ADT event which is jointly sanctioned with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM).
Malaysia’s Leunkwang Kim continued to keep the local hope alive when he signed for another 69 to secure outright third place, two shots back of Nattawat at the Darulaman Golf and Country Club.
Starting on the back-nine 10, Nattawat carded his first birdie on the par-four 13. He made his move up the leaderboard with an eagle-three on 16 before his round came alive with four birdies in five holes after the turn.
The Thai, who has enjoyed two top-10s this season on the ADT, dropped a shot on seven but recovered quickly with another birdie on eight to complete one of the biggest moves of the day, having started in tied-16th place.
“I putted really well today and that was the key. I took advantage of my opportunities and was rewarded with a very good score. Hopefully, I can continue playing the same way I did today for the next two rounds,” said Nattawat.
Nattawat, who turned professional in 2014, also made no secret of his intentions to secure his maiden ADT title this week.
“I have a chance of winning this week and I’m going to try my best to do it. I have come close to victory on a few occasions but fell short. Hopefully, I can lift the trophy on Saturday,” said the Thai.
The PGM Darulaman Championship, by featuring on the ADT calendar, receives Official World Golf Ranking status, with the winner receiving a minimum of six points and the top-six players and ties earning points on a sliding scale.
Leading second round scores
136 – Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) 71-65
137 – LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 68-69
138 – Leunkwang KIM (MAS) 69-69
139 – Daeng Abdul Rahman (MAS) 70-69
140 – Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS) 72-68, Josh SALAH (USA) 67-73, R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 69-71, Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 71-69, Kenneth TOBUSE (MAS) 71-69, Danny CHIA (MAS) 73-67, Brett MUNSON (USA) 68-72, Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) 69-71, James BOWEN (USA) 68-72
141 – Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 70-71, Sukree OTHMAN (MAS) 71-70, Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 69-72
About Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.