Australian Sherratt grabs two-shot lead at Taifong Open, Joshi at tied 7th

Jordan SherrattChang Hwa, Chinese Taipei: Jordan Sherratt of Australia birdied his closing two holes for a five-under-par 67 to seize a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Taifong Open on Friday.

The 27-year-old, who is chasing for a first career title, soared to the top of the leaderboard on nine-under-par 135 at the US$160,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Local teenager Lee Chieh-po fired a 68 to share second place alongside countryman Lin Wen-tang (70), a six-time Asian Tour winner, and Thailand’s Pijit Petchkasem (67) at the Taifong Golf Club.

Playing in his second year at the Taifong Open, Sherratt took advantage of his familiarity on the course as he put himself in prime position to challenge for the title. He was two-under for the day after 11 holes but shifted into fifth gear when he birdied 11, 12, 17 and 18.

“I feel comfortable on the golf course. There are a few daunting tee shots here because of the narrow fairways but some of it suits my eye. I remembered how to play some of the holes and maybe that’s why I feel comfortable here,” said Sherratt.

The 20-year-old Lee holed a huge 30 feet birdie on the 12th hole to charge into contention. Despite trailing by two shots, Lee was disappointed not to return with a flawless scorecard.

“I was bogey free yesterday but made some mistakes today which I’m not too happy. I think I can do better. I’ve been improving gradually. I will try and improve my game step by step,” said Lee, who finished tied fifth at Qualifying School earlier this year.

Pijit bounced into form after missing numerous cuts on the ADT this year. The Thai played consistently from tee to green, missing only one fairway in regulation and needed to make only 23 putts in a round of seven birdies.

“My goal was just to make the cut. After that, you never know where you will finish. But now that I know I’m close to the leader, I will try my best and chase the leader. All my birdies were inside five-feet and I never missed any birdie chances from that range,” said the Thai.

The halfway cut was set at one-over-par 145 with a total of 58 players qualifying for the weekend rounds.

Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has announced a provisional 2015 schedule of a minimum 24 tournaments with several more to be announced in due course.

The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.

With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.

For more information on the ADT, please visit

Leading second round scores:

135 - Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 68 67

137 - LIN Wen-tang (TWN) 67 70, LEE Chieh-po (TWN) 69 68, Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) 70 67

138 - LU Wei-chih (TWN) 69 69, Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 69 69

139 - Greg MOSS (USA) 70 69, Rory HIE (INA) 67 72, YEH Wei-tze (TWN) 73 66, Sejun YOON (USA) 69 70, KAO Teng (TWN) 72 67, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 66 73

140 - Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 68 72, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 70 70, SUNG Mao-chang (TWN) 70 70, Casey O'TOOLE (USA) 66 74

141 - Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 73 68, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 71 70, CHAN Shih-chang (TWN) 70 71, Wisut ARTJANAWAT (THA) 70 71, Darren TAN (AUS) 69 72, LU Wen-teh (TWN) 73 68, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 71 70

142 - WANG Shih-jui (TWN) 72 70, CHEN Yuan-chi (TWN) 73 69, HUNG Chun-kang (TWN) 75 67, WU Wen-ting (TWN) 72 70