Pijit moves into share of halfway lead

Pijit Petchkasem
Pijit Petchkasem

Kemaman [TERENGGANU]: Thailand’s Pijit Petchkasem returned with Friday’s lowest score of six-under-par 65 to share the halfway lead with Micah Shin of the United States at the PGM Terengganu Championship.

Overnight leader Shin, who carded a 70, was denied the outright lead when Pijit fired eight birdies against two bogeys to match his two-day total of eight-under-par 134 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) co-sanctioned event.

Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert registered a 70 to stay one shot back of the leaders in third place with compatriot Pasamet Pogamnerd, who posted a 67, at the Resorts World Kijal.

Talented young Thai Rattanon Wannasrichan, England’s Grant Jackson and Zaw Moe of Myanmar shared fifth place on matching 137s after signing for 68, 67 and 67 respectively.

Leading Malaysians Abel Tam and Shaaban Hussin were five shots off the pace in tied-11th at the PGM Terengganu Championship, which is the 12th leg on the ADT schedule this season.

Pijit, who started on the 10th tee, got off to a great start when he fired six birdies against one bogey to turn in 30 before adding two more birdies and one bogey on his way home.

“I putted very well and my irons were good. The course is in perfect condition but it is long for me. Overall, I’m really pleased with how I played. I have nothing to complain about,” said the talented 27-year-old.

“My game is in a very good shape. I have been looking for a first win on the ADT and I am confident it will come soon. I am looking forward to the weekend rounds,” added Pijit, who has notched two top-10 finishes so far this season.

Shin, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2013, is playing in his rookie year on the ADT and has only made a single cut in three starts this season. The 17-year-old teenage professional will become the youngest winner on the ADT should he lift the trophy on Sunday.

“I didn’t give myself enough chances out there today. I struggled but I’m still happy to be in the lead. I haven’t been doing so well on the ADT so far this season so I’m happy with how I played for the first two rounds. There are a lot of good players here,” said the Korean-American.

Pavit remained in hot pursuit for his second victory on the ADT. “My tee shots were good but I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday. I will still try and stay positive and give myself as many birdie chances as I can out there,” said Pavit, who has notched a total of four top-five results this season.

“I’m confident that my second win will come soon. I’ve came close to winning for a couple of times now since the start of the season. I think I just have to concentrate on my game and stay focus,” added the 25-year-old Thai.

Leading second round scores
134 – Pijit Petchkasem (THA) 69-65, Micah Lauren Shin (USA) 64-70
135 – Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha) 65-70, Pasamet Pogamnerd (THA) 68-67
137 – Grant Jackson (ENG) 70-67, Zaw Moe (MYA) 70-67, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 69-68
138 – Poosit Supupramai (THA) 66-72, Roberto Galletti (USA) 68-70, Malcolm Kokocinski (SWE) 70-68
139 – Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 70-69, Abel Tam 71-68, Shaaban Hussin 68-71
140 – Casey O’Toole (USA) 69-71
The halfway cut was set at four-over-par with a total of 50 players progressing into the final two rounds.