Kelly in control at Horizon Hills

Johor Bahru: National amateur Kelly Tan looked set to claim her state Open title after opening up a seven-stroke lead in the women’s division at the rain-interrupted second round of the Johor Amateur Open on Thursday.

Local favourite Kelly,  improved on her opening round display with an even-par 72 at Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club for a 36-hole total of two-over 146, leaving 2010 champion Koh Sock Hwee in her wake (78-75). Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Hilferah Tan, who claimed the Perak Amateur victory in September, was a further shot back on 155 on the back of  a second round 75.

Kelly, whose path from a reluctant junior golfer in Batu Pahat to a national startlet is well-documented, will look to end her run of bridesmaids finishes this year as she looks to finish off 2012 on a high.

The men’s contest however remains closely fought with Thomas Tan leading the expected Singapore fightback to seize a slim one-stroke lead over overnight leader Abel Tam.

Thomas carded a tournament low round of two-under 70 while Abel slumped to a 76 ahead of the all-important final round tomorrow, with the winner earning a sponsor’s invite to the sixth edition of the US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open.

Leading second round scores
147 – Thomas Tan (SIN) 77-70
148 – Abel Tam 72-76
151 – Roszali Baharuddin 78-73
152 – Nicklaus Chiam (SIN) 77-75, Marc Ong (SIN) 74-78
155 – Jeremy Chan 79-76, Quentin Clark (PHI) 78-77
156 – Azmer Merzam 83-73
157 – Billie Pay 80-77
158 – Abdul Hadi 83-75

146 – Kelly Tan 74-72
153 – Koh Sock Hwee (SIN) 78-75
154 – Hilferah Tan 80-74
161 – Amelia Yong (SIN) 81-80, Joey Poh 78-83
163 – Renata Riza Dimaya (INA) 85-78
164 – Yeyen Safitri (INA) 84-80
165 – Nadhra Aqilah (SIN) 82-83
169 – Qistina Balqis Azhar 88-81
170 – Lim Jia Yi (SIN 87-83