BANGKOK, Thailand: Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat and John Catlin of the United States shared the second round honours as the duo took a two-shot lead into the weekend rounds at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on Friday.
Panuphol signed for a three-under-par 69 while Catlin returned with a 68 to stay ahead of Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, American Sihwan Kim and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao with their two-day total of six-under-par 138.
Panuphol, who is chasing his third Asian Tour win this week, was quick off the blocks with two birdies in his opening four holes. A bogey-five on nine was his only blemish of the day as he would cruise home with another pair of birdies on 13 and 16 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Like Panuphol, Catlin is also eying his third victory on the Asian Tour this week. He has already won twice this season and has been carrying an impressive form into the US$500,000 event.
The American reached the turn in 33 after marking his card with three birdies on holes two, four and eight. He birdied 10 but dropped a shot on 11 before swiftly recovering with another birdie on 12.
After taking the overnight lead with a 66 with included making his second professional ace, Hung had a round to forget as he mixed his card with three bogeys and one birdie to slip to a share of third place.
South Africa’s Justin Harding stepped up his chase for his hat-trick of titles on the Asian Tour by returning with a 69 to take sixth place while India’s Viraj Madappa, who opened with a 76, stormed back to life with a 66 to grab a share of seventh place.
The cut was set at three-over with 77 players progressing into the weekend round.
Did you know?
– John Catlin is a double winner on the Asian Tour having won this year’s Asia-Pacific Classic and the Sarawak Championship.
– Catlin has a very impressive form this season. Apart from the two titles has won, Catlin missed only one cut in 14 Asian Tour appearances.
– Panuphol Pittayarat is playing in his eighth season on the Asian Tour and has won twice.
– He broke into the world’s top-200 for the first time in his career after claiming a one-shot victory on his home course at the Thai Country Club.
– Panuphol turned professional in 2007 at a young age of 14 and was nicknamed ‘Coconut’ by his parents.
– Sihwan Kim graduated from the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2017. In his second season on the Asian Tour, Kim has enjoyed four top-five finishes.
– He is playing at the Yeangder TPC for the first time.
– Hung Chien-yao finished tied-10th in his last Yeangder TPC appearance in 2016.
– His best result this season was a tied-20th finish at the Sarawak Championship in July.