Riordan takes control in PD

Sean Riordan ©ArepKulal|PGM
Sean Riordan ©ArepKulal|PGM

PORT DICKSON [Negeri Sembilan]: New Zealand’s Sean Riordan raced to a three-shot lead over Malaysia’s Airil Rizman and M.Sasidaran by firing a sparkling nine-under-par 62 in the second round of the RM200,000 (approx. US$60,000) PGM Port Dickson Championship on Thursday.

The New Zealander, who is searching for his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title, was in total control as he marked his flawless card with seven birdies and one eagle to lead with his two-day total of nine-under-par 133 at the Port Dickson Golf and Country Club.

Airil, a one-time Asian Tour winner, continued to make headways domestically by returning with a 65 to share second place with Sasidaran on 136 total in what is the 13th leg of this season’s ADT Schedule.

Playing in his first ADT season after missing the grade at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January this year, Riordan’s fortunes changed significantly after an opening 71.

The 26-year-old got off strongly with three birdies in his opening four holes. An eagle-two on the seventh hole followed by birdies on eight and nine then lifted him to the top of the leaderboard where he would continue to cement his position after adding more red numbers on 12 and 18.

“It was a fantastic day although it would have been even better if I got more birdies on the back-nine. But this is a course that really suits my eye. It’s not long and the conditions are ideal.

“Obviously, you get lots of confidence from a solid round like this and hopefully, I can continue to be in the position where I’m right now till the final putt,” said Riordan.

Airil, whose lone success on the Asian Tour came i Pakistan in 2007, is also riding high on confidence after battling his way back into contention.

“It’s always nice to be shooting low scores. It has been eight years since my last victory on the Asian Tour. There have been the ups and downs and today’s one of the highs.

“I’ve been playing lots of local events but I believe it’ll not be too long before I make my return to the Asian Tour,” said the reigning domestic Order of Merit champion.

Sasidaran meanwhile believes he has to stay mentally strong to claim his maiden ADT breakthrough this week.

The Malaysian, who started on the back-nine 10, stumbled early with a bogey on 12 but picked himself up quickly with birdies on 14, 15 and 17. He dropped another shot after the turn on the par-four one but would redeem himself quickly again with four birdies in his last five holes.

“I’ve got to stay patient and not lose my focus easily. Concentration would be the key for me to win this week. I’m making the putts and striking the ball really well. So it’ll all come down to my mental ability,” said Sasidaran.

Leading second round scores (Par-71):
Malaysian unless stated
133 – Sean Riordan (NZL) 71-62
136 – M. Sasidaran 70-66, Airil Rizman Zahari 71-65
137 – Hans Jamil 70-67
138 – Shaaban Hussin 70-68, Kemarol Baharin 68-70, Annop Tangkamolprasert (THA) 74-64, Lam Kong Loong 72-66
139 – Ratchapol Jantavara (THA) 70-69, Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (THA) 69-70, R. Nachimuthu 68-71, Solomon Emilio Rosidin 74-65, Micah Lauren Shin (USA) 69-70