Malaysia’s Wilson Choo opened up a four-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s LADA Langkawi Championship in Kedah today.
The 27-year-old shot a feisty five-under 67 to go with his course record-equaling opening 64, which gave him a 13-under-par 131 total.
Despite his good showing so far, Wilson said he battled a lot more today than he did yesterday, when he and Nattapong Putta of Thailand set the new course mark at Gunung Raya Golf Resort.
“I did a lot of scrambling out there today,” said Choo, who hails from Kelantan and has one win on the Tour. “I started the round well today, but then I sort of lost concentration and stumbled along the way before fighting back to finish rather solidly.”
The reference made to the “stumbling” was a bogey and a double-bogey before he made the turn, but an eagle and birdie shortly after that and playing his last four holes in three-under-par, steadied the ship of a player who has been in good nick of late.
“In the situation I was in, I can take that as being a good finish and decent round,” he added.
Nattapong shot a 71 and was equal in second place on nine-under 135 with American Micah Lauren Shin, who carded a 67 of his own.
One shot back and looking for a second win in three starts this season was Arie Irawan. Maintaining Malaysia’s good showing in the events co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour and which carry world ranking points, Arie moved up into fourth place from 18th with the low round of the day – a six-under-par 66.
“I’m really pleased with how I played today,” he said after putting together a round that included an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys. “But my aim is to continue to eliminate the mistakes from my game.
“I hit the ball well and had several birdie chances, but I also made a few mistakes that cost me,” he said.
A congested leaderboard characterised a tournament that had the cut pegged at one-under-par and with 43 players going through to the last two days.
The course is playing rather friendly with the leaders taking advantage and which has been reflected in the low scoring. On the well-kept layout of Gunung Raya, 13 players shot six-under or better over the first two days of the RM200,000 event.
Leading Second Round Scores
131 Wilson Choo (Mas) 64-67
135 Nattapong Putta (Tha) 64-71, Micah Lauren Shin (US) 68-67
136 Arie Irawan (Mas) 70-66
137 Janne Kaske (Fin) 67-70, Lam Chih Bing (Sin) 70-67, Nakarintra Ratanakul (Tha) 70-67, Low Khai Jei (A) (Mas) 67-70
138 Torben Baumann (Ger) 65-73, Masaru Takahashi (Jpn) 70-68, Jack Munro (Aus) 70-68, Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 71-67, Brett Munson (US) 70-68