Chia takes lead at Malaysian golf tourney

Johor Bahru (Malaysia), April 29 (IANS) Malaysian ace Danny Chia fired an eight-under-par 64 on Friday to open up a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the PGM Palm Resort Championship which has been reduced to 54 holes.

The 43-year-old Chia returned on Friday morning to finish round two where he fired a flawless round highlighted by eight birdies to lead on 14-under-par 130 at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club.

Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden, who won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) event last week, trailed in second place following a 65 while Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn and Sutijet Kooratanapisan were a further shot back on 133.

Thai teenager Suradit Yongcharoenchai trails the leader by four shots as he aims to become the second youngest ADT winner at the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) event.

Officials were forced to shorten the PGM Palm Resort Championship due to several weather delays during the week. The third and final round will now start on Saturday.

Chia, a three-time ADT winner, was delighted to be in the lead after missing the halfway cut in Japan on the Asian Tour last week.

He posted four birdies on each nine and will enter the third and final round with a slight edge over Zetterwall, who claimed an emphatic first win in the Philippines last week.

“I played nicely when I returned this morning. This is a golf course with many scoring opportunities and I took advantage of that. It is always nice to shoot a bogey free round. I’m playing consistently at the moment so that’s a positive sign,” Chia said after his round.

“I’m in the lead now so it doesn’t affect me if the round is reduced to 18 holes. The goal remains the same which is to play consistently and hope the putts drop,” the Malaysian added.

–IANS

ajb/bg

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