Sasi ties Ben for Taiping lead

Sasidaran Muthiah © Arep Kulal|PGM
Sasidaran Muthiah © Arep Kulal|PGM

Taiping [PERAK]: Sasidaran Muthiah raised hopes of a maiden Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) title after claiming a share of the halfway lead at the Taiping Championship on Thursday.

The 38-year-old from Serendah fired a five-under 67 to join overnight leader Ben Leong at the top of the leaderboard on nine-under 135 at the Taiping Golf & Country Club.

The in-form Leong mixed four birdies with his first bogey of the RM180,000 tournament for a round of 69 as heavy rain delayed the completion of the second round by almost an hour and a half.

Fellow Sabahan Nicholas Fung carded a 67 of his own to lie two strokes adrift in sole third ahead of Anis Helmi Hassan (70).

Sasidaran’s round of seven birdies – four on the front nine and three on the homeward stretch – was blurred by two bogeys on the par-3 4th and 17th.

It was telling performance by a player who is due a good finish on Tour after many a close calls. “I played well today and hit the ball solidly. I made a couple of mistakes but also made some good iron shots into the greens, where I putt not too bad. Hopefully it can continue as I try to finish the tournament strongly,” said Sasidaran, whose last professional title came at the 2010 Terengganu Masters Invitational.

Leading second round scores (Par-72) >
135 – M. Sasidaran 68-67, Ben Leong 66-69
137 – Nicholas Fung 70-67
138 – Anis Helmi Hassan 68-70
139 – R. Nachimuthu 70-69
140 – Lam Yu Shuen 68-72
141 – Muhd Wafiyuddin Abd Manaf 71-70, Kenneth De Silva 70-71, Shaifubari Muda 70-71, Kemarol Baharin 69-72, Kim Leun Kwang 68-73
142 – S. Sivachandhran 71-71, Azman Basharuddin 70-72