Airil steers five clear at the top

Airil Rizman Zahari ©PGM Tour
Airil Rizman Zahari ©PGM Tour

Manjung [PERAK]: Chasing his first win of the season, Airil Rizman Zahari opened up a five-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Swiss-Garden Championship on Thursday.

The reigning Order of Merit champion shot a two-under 70 to move to a six-under-par 138 total after 36 holes at Damai Laut Golf & Country Club.

Sukree Othman and Lam Yu Shuen carded matching 72s to sit in joint second on 143 ahead of joint overnight leader Solomon Emilio Rosidin, who stumbled with a four-over 76 to join Rashid Ismail (70) and Ben Leong (75) on the even-par mark.

Shaifubari Muda (70), Nicholas Fung (71) and S. Sivachandhran (73) were a shot back on 145 in joint seventh, with Tony Lam (70), Kenneth De Silva (73), Danny Chia (74) and Wilson Choo (74) completing the top ten.

Commenting on his game, Airil said his putting was the key to opening up a rather huge lead at this stage of the tournament but was quick to note that there was still a long way to go.

“I’ve come close this season but have not being able to finish the deal. Hopefully, I can keep this form going and wrap it up on Saturday.

“I know it will not be easy as the greens are rather slow and quite bumpy. But I still managed to hole a few good putts and I think that was the difference today. But golf can change dramatically. One day all is well and the next day things can be very different,” he added cautiously.

Fourty-nine players advanced into the final two rounds with the halfway cut coming a t 14-over 158.

Leading second round scores (Par-72)
138 – Airil Rizman 68-70
143 – Sukree Othman 72-71, Lam Yu Shuen 71-72
144 – Rashid Ismail 74-70, Ben Leong 69-75, Solomon Emilio Rosidin 68-76
145 – Shaifubari Muda 75-70, Nicholas Fung 74-71, S. Sivachandhran 72-73
146 – Tony Lam 76-70, Kenneth De Silva 73-73, Danny Chia 72-74, Wilson Choo 72-74
147 – Mohd Amli Mohayideen 76-71, Muhd Afif Mohd Razif (A) 72-75