Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21: Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas posted a seven-under-par 65 to open up a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the PGM MIDF ADT Championship on Thursday.
Pannakorn, who fired a 66 in the opening round, continued to show his consistency at the Kota Seriemas Golf and Country Club by marking his card with eight birdies and one bogey for a two-day total of 13-under-par 131.
Overnight leader Leunkwang Kim of Malaysia trails the Thai in second place, while his compatriot Airil Zahari and Singapore’s Gregory Foo are placed in second and third place respectively after the trio ended the day with matching 69s.
Pannakorn has already won in Malaysia in May and is optimistic of another victory after making changes to his back swing.
“My putting has been good, and I’m happy with my consistency. Today I started from the first hole, and I was happy to have started well,” said Pannakorn.
A birdie in the opening hole paved the way for three consecutive ones from the third hole.
But Pannakorn was especially pleased with his birdie putt on the fifth.
“I sank that putt from about 10 yards from left to right, and it was a difficult one especially with the strong wind. That gave me confidence to continue doing well.”
The 29-year-old closed out the front nine with another two birdies. He managed another two after the turn, with one bogey on the 11th the only blemish.
Pannakorn currently occupies seventh spot on the Order of Merit, which is the cut-off mark for players vying to earn 2020 Asian Tour cards.
While he is confident of his chances of winning the PGM MIDF ADT Championship, Pannakorn is just enjoying his game at the moment.
“I’m in the same group as Kim who is my good friend, so it’s been nice. I have a good feeling (about winning), but there are still two rounds to go,” he added.
Foo, who trails Pannakorn by six shots , is hoping to close the gap after he traded six birdies against one bogey and a double-bogey five on 16.
“I’ll have to set myself up with the iron, be aggressive and hope to make as many birdies,” said the Singaporean.