Subang: There was a familiar name on top the leaderboard after the penultimate round of the 25th MPI Saujana Amateur Championship on Wednesday and few will discount the chance of Gavin Kyle Green becoming only the second player to claim consecutive victories at the prestigious meet since R. Nachimuthu in 1997.
The 18-year University of New Mexico freshman displayed his mastery of wet conditions, coming in with a round of three-under 69 to add to his opening 71 for a four-under 140 total to take over the lead at Saujana Golf & Country Club.
Green’s compatriot Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi matched the former’s effort on the day to improve to second, one shot behind the leader while overnight leader Oliver Goss of Australia, stumbled to third after a poor 74.
Last year’s runner-up Ryan Peake and Chinese Taipei’s Chieh-Po Lee produced another set of even-par rounds for a 144 overall.
Starting on the back nine, Green made the turn on level-par 36 after a battling display of scrambling before turning on the heat on the outward nine. “I posted alternate bogey-birdie at three sets of holes. I was definitely grinding it out,” said Gavin. “But I turned it around coming with some solid iron play,” added the newly-crowned Malaysian Amateur Open champion, who mixed four birdies and a bogey on the front nine.
For Arie, it was a matter of staying patient after notching a round of four birdies, marred only by a lone bogey at the par-four 11th. “I made less mistakes today by staying patient. I have to remember that if I don’t make a good shot, then I have to play it smart,” said Arie.
Leading second round scores (Malayians unless indicated)
140 – Gavin Green 71-69
141 – Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi 72-69
142 – Oliver Goss (AUS) 68-74
144 – Ryan Peake (AUS) 72-72; Chieh-Po Lee (TPE) 72-72
147 – Marc Ong (SIN) 75-72; Shinichi Mizuno (HKG) 72-75
151 – Abel Tam 80-71; Md Dulal Hossain (BAN) 72-79; Md Afif Md Razif 72-79; Chan Tuck Soon 71- 80
152 – Jonar Austria (PHI) 75-77; Jean Baptiste Chaumont 73-79
153 – Alvin Hiew 78-75; N Thangaraja (SLK) 76-77
154 – Jerome Ng (SIN) 76-78; Md Sajib Ali (BAN) 75-79
155 – Han-Ting Chiu (TPE) 81-74
156 – Daniel Ng 81-75; Harrison Savage (AUS) 79-77