Kuala Lumpur: Guido Van Der Valk of Holland fired a second round two-under-par 70 to put himself in strong position of ending a seven-year title drought at the PGM-MIDF-KLGCC Classic on Friday.
Van Der Valk fired four birdies against two bogeys for a three-under-par 141 total to open up a three-shot lead in the RM200,000 (approximately US$66,666) event, which is the last tournament on the Asian Development Tour this year.
Gerald Rosales of the Philippines welcomed a return to form by firing a 70 to lie in second place while joint overnight leader Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, who shot a 74, slipped a stroke back in third at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Van Der Valk, who last won in 2004 on the Dutch Tour, was delighted to be in position of burying his defeat at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic two weeks ago where he settled for tied second after losing in a five-way play-off.
“If I can give myself these chances like how I’ve done then I got a good chance of winning this tournament,” said Van Der Valk, who has played on the Asian Tour since 2005.
“I haven’t played much so far this year but I was shooting low scores on my home track so I knew the game was there and it was just waiting for it to happen in tournaments,” added the Dutchman, who resides in the Philippines.
Rosales, winner of the 2000 Philippine Open, was four-under for the day but three putted on seven and missed a three foot putt for par on the last.
He was one of the most talented players on the Asian Tour before he was plagued by a wrist injury in 2009 where he missed the second half of the season. He returned to competitive golfing last year but admits he is still struggling to find his best form.
“It was hard when I first returned from my injury but for the past two months, I’ve been hitting the ball well but couldn’t score. I think it will still take some time before I can get my normal game back,” said Rosales, who shot a hat-trick of birdies from the second hole.
Malaysia’s Fung turned in 40 but recovered in his homeward nine highlighted by an eagle on the par five third hole when his three wood approach landed six feet from the pin. “It was a mixed round from me but I’m happy with my score. The course isn’t easy and I’ll have to minimize the mistakes in the next two days,” said the 21-year-old, who mixed his round with two birdies and one eagle against two bogeys and two double bogeys.
Takafumi Kawane of Japan carded a 74 to lie in tied ninth place to give himself a huge boost of breaking into the top three of the Order of Merit.
He knows he will need to make a final push in the next two days as only US$3,000 separates him and third placed Kao Shang-hung of Chinese Taipei from earning an Asian Tour card in 2012.
Kao, who was the coach of woman golfer Yani Tseng when she was eight years old, posted a 74 to lie in tied 12th place, one shot from Kawane.
The halfway cut was set at 14-over-par 158 with a total of 56 players making the weekend rounds.
Leading second round scores
141 – Guido Van Der Valk (HOL) 71-70
144 – Gerald Rosales (PHI) 74-70
145 – Nicholas Fung (MAS) 71-74
146 – Jonathan Moore (USA) 74-72, Marlon Dizon (PHI) 73-73
147 – Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 77-70, Akhmal Tarmizee (MAS) 73-74, Yosuke Tsukada (JPN) 72-75
148 – R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 75-73, Takafumi Kawane (JPN) 74-74, S. Murthy (MAS) 75-73
149 – Matt Jager (AUS) 75-74, Kao Shang-hung (TPE) 75-74
150 – S.Siva Chandhran (MAS) 77-73