Kota Bharu: Overnight leader Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain held off a determined charge by Sukree Othman to retain his lead through the halfway stage of the RM125,000 Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Kelantan Classic.
Starting the second round with a two-stroke advantage, the Kelantan native struggled early on, trading a pair of bogeys and birdies through the first four holes at the Kelantan Golf & Country Club before composing himself with two birdies on the inward nine for a two-under 70 for a seven-under 137 total.
But it was the 36-year-old Sukree who clearly underlined his intent to add a second PGM Tour title to his haul with a blemish free round of four-under 68, highlighted by two consecutive birdies from the 7th to improve to 138. Akhmal Tarmizee Mohd Nazari stayed in contention with a battling 71 while Sabahan Sofian Kepli was a further stroke back after an even-par 72 on the day.
PGM Perlis Classic champion Airil Rizman stayed within touch of the leaders with a 70 of his own to share fifth position alongside S. Murthy (71). Carding the round of the day was S. Sivachandhran, who struck a superb five-under 67 to move level with M. Sasidaran (70) on two-under 142. The cut came at nine-over 153 with 53 players advancing to the final two rounds.
But all attention were on Mohd Nazri, who buoyed by a small and strong local crowd, continued to put up a gallant run despite continuing to struggle off the tees. “I’m still finding my way around the fairways but luckily, I managed to make 12 greens with some good recovery play despite only landing on three fairways all round,” said Nazri.
” I hope to win this tournament on my home course and I don’t want to let down my family and friends, who are here daily to rally me on,” he added, noting that he was not about to change his game despite having the 36-hole lead.
Leading second round scores
136 – Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain 66-70
137 – Sukree Othman 69-68
139 – Akhmal Tarmizee 68-71
140 – Sofian Kepli 68-72
141 – Airil Rizman Zahari 70-71; S. Murthy 70-71
142 – S. Sivachandhran 75-67; M. Sasidaran 72-70
143 – Mohd Rizal Amin 73-70; Zurie Harun 73-70
144 – R. Nachimuthu 73-71; Haziq Hamizan 72-72; Kalana Ibrahim 70-74