Sarawak, Malaysia, October 5: Thailand’s Nirun Sae-Ueng stayed on course for his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after carding a five-under-par 67 to grab the halfway clubhouse lead at the weather-disrupted PGM MNRB Championship on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Nirun, who held a one-shot lead heading into the round, fired six birdies against one bogey to move seven shots clear with his two-day total of 11-under-par 133 at the RM200,000 (approx. US$44,600) ADT event.
Somsak Khaopratum of Thailand and Singapore’s Johnson Poh shared second place following respective rounds of 68 and 70 while Scotland’s James Byrne, American James Bowen, local duo Kiishaan Tharmalingam and Leunkwang Kim stayed a further shot back in tied-fourth position on 141.
The second round of the PGM MNRB Championship was delayed for six and a half hours in the morning due to persistent rain. Play started at 2.00pm local time and was later abandoned for the day at 6.30pm due to fading light.
A total of 33 players, including Order of Merit leader Masaru Takahashi of Japan, will resume their second rounds at 7.30am on Friday, with the third round scheduled to start not earlier than 9.45am, at the Damai Golf and Country Club.
Starting from the first hole, Nirun nailed two birdies in his opening three holes before dropping a shot on fifth. He recovered strongly by adding four birdies on his way home.
“My approach shots were better today. I am still putting well but I made some mistakes with my tee shots today. It was a long wait in the clubhouse this morning but I kept myself cool and stayed patient out there.
“I made a good birdie on the par-three 15th hole. I hit it to 220 yards and made the putt from three feet. I will stick to the same game plan for the next two rounds and we will see how it goes,” said Nirun.
The leading five players on the 2017 ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the region’s premier Tour in 2018.
All ADT events are afforded with Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading second round scores:
133 – Nirun Sae-Ueng (Tha) 66-67
140 – Somsak Khaopratum (Tha) 72-68, Johnson Poh (Sgp) 70-70
141 – James Byrne (Sco) 68-73, James Bowen (Usa) 72-69, Kiishaan Tharmalingam (Mas) 67-74, Leunkwang Kim (Mas) 70-71
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.