Careful Fung stays ahead in Sabah, halfway cut at 27-over

Nicholas Fung

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: A round of even-par 72 was enough for Sabahan Nicholas to stay ahead of the pack after another low scoring round during the second day of the RM200,000 Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Sabah Classic today.

It was another dismal display by the professionals at the Sabah Golf & Country Club with only four players bettering par. Two-time winner on the PGM Tour, Danny Chia and local Ben Leong carded second round best of one-under-par 71 to take a share of second place on 143, four strokes behind Fung.

Khor Kheng Hwai stumbled to third, totaling even-par 144  after a poor round of 76 with Mohd Iylia Jamil was one stroke further behind after a commendable round of two-under-par 70. Haziq Hamizan and Shaaban Hussin took a share of sixth on two-over- 146 after identical rounds of 75.

The overnight leader nonetheless continued his steady stride towards his maiden title on the burgeoning PGM Tour, despite tough scoring conditions. Making the turn on 38 after dropping bogeys on the fourth and eighth, Fung nailed birdies on the 15th and 17th to finish level on the day. “Not a great day as I hoped to finish in the sixties,” said the bespectacled 21-year-old sophomore, who won the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Masters Vietnam in his rookie year in the paid ranks.

Setting a record of sorts, the halfway cut came at a disappointing 27-over-par 171 with 62 players, including 12 of the 13 amateurs in the field, making it into the third round tomorrow morning.

Leading second round scores
139 Nicholas Fung (69-70)
143 Danny Chia (72-71), Ben Leong (72-71)
144 Khor Kheng Hwai (68-76)
145 Mohd Iylia Jamil (75-70)
146 Haziq Hamizan (71-75), Shaaban Hussin (71-75)
147 S. Sivachandhran (74-73)
148 R. Nachimuthu (75-73), Akhmal Tarmizee (71-77)