Nachimuthu three off the lead in Johor

R. Nachimuthu

Johor Bahru: A second straight one-under 71 saw reigning Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Order of Merit champion R. Nachimuthu remain in contention as overnight leader Huang Tao held on to the clubhouse lead at the PGM Johor Masters.

Lightning threats delayed proceedings in the afternoon with 36 players due to return tomorrow morning to complete their second rounds after play was halted a 7.10 pm as darkness enveloped Johor Golf & Country Club.

Despite struggling with erratic drives, Huang mixed three birdies against as many bogeys as he shot an even-par 72 to set the halfway mark at five-under 139 at the RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour event.

Grant Jackson (69) of England and Wang Tsung-chieh (68) of Chinese Taipei, the son of four-time Asian Tour winner Ter-chang, were a further shot  back in second place.

“It was an okay round but I could have done better. With the way I was hitting my driver, I’m lucky to escape with a 72. I’m still happy with how I’m playing but I’ll need to work on my driver. I’m quite confident for the last two days,” said Huang, a two-time winner in Chinese Taipei.

Nachimuthu took a share of fourth alongside Michael Bibat of the Philippines and Japanese duo Masaki Sakata and Senroku Isa on two-under 142. “I’m hitting the ball alright but just couldn’t get into a rhythm. Hopefully, I can improve over the next two days,” said the 40-year-old Nachimuthu, who came into the tournament on a high after claiming a record third PGM title at the Clearwater Classic last week.

The other leading Malaysians include M. Sasidaran on one-under 143 with S. Murthy a further shot back with an even-par total. The halfway cut is projected at six-over 150 with the top-50 and ties expected to progress to the final two rounds.

Leading second round scores
139 – Huang Tao (TPE) 67-72
140 – Grant Jackson (ENG) 71-69, Wang Tsung-chieh (TPE) 72-68
142 – Senroku Isa (JPN) 73-69, R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 71-71, Masaki Sakata (JPN) 70-72, Michael Bibat (PHI) 70-72
143 – M.Sasidaran (MAS) 72-71, Will Yanagisawa(USA) 73-70, Charles Hong (PHI) 72-71
144 – Peter Richardson (ENG) 72-72, Hirotaro Naito (JPN) 75-69, Hsieh Tung-Shu (TPE) 74-70, CJ Gatto(USA) 75-69, Greg Moss (USA) 73-71, S. Murthy (MAS) 73-71