Tour veteran S. Murthy opened up a three-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Kelantan Closed Championship today.
With a victory to show for on the east coast, following his 2011 success at Lanjut, Murthy put himself in a good position for yet another win in the region with a second round three-under 69 at Kelantan Golf & Country Club that gave him a seven-under 137 total.
R. Nachimuthu, who was joint leader with Murthy after the first day yesterday, carded an even-par 72 to share second place with Airil Rizman, who had a 69 of his own.
Shaaban Hussin also had a 69 and was tied for fourth with Akhmal Tarmizee, signed for a second round 70. They were four strokes off the lead on 141, while in-from Wilson Choo stumbled to a 73 and finished the day on two-under 142.
On a day when the course played tough and only six players managed to go under-par, Murthy made a mockery of the conditions as he posted four birdies on each nine, but then gave back five strokes with two bogeys on the front nine and another three on the homeward stretch.
Speaking after his round, Murthy said he was “very happy” to be at the top of the leaderboard and was aiming to stay there as long as he could.
“The course is much better than it was last year and with no preferred lies this week, it is obviously playing tougher. But it is a good test,” added Murthy, who also won the 2012 Penang title.
Turning to his game, Murthy said: “I hit my irons very well and putted not too bad. But there is still a long way to go, so I will be taking it one shot at a time,” he added.
Leading Second Round Scores
137 S. Murthy 68-69
140 Airil Rizman 71-69, R. Nachimuthu 68-72
141 Shaaban Hussin 72-69, Akhmal Tarmizee 71-70
142 Wilson Choo 69-73
144 Kemarol Baharin 72-72, M. Rizal Amin 70-74, M. Azman Basharudin 70-74
145 Sukree Othman 74-71, M. Alwarith Damian 73-72, Hans Jamil 72-73, Farid Rashid 71-74
146 Mior Asyraf Haziq 75-71, Irfan Yusoff 74-72, Keegan Kam 73-73, Zamri Sariff 73-73, Low Khai Jei (A) 71-75