Turner grabs clubhouse lead at weather-disrupted PGM MIDF KLGCC Masters

Kuala Lumpur: Ireland’s Niall Turner rediscovered some of his best form when he fired a four-under-par 67 to seize the second round clubhouse lead before inclement weather suspended play at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Masters on Friday.

Play was halted at 3.05pm before resuming one and a half hours later and then abandoned for the day at 6.50pm due to fading light.

A total of 15 players will return at 7.30am on Saturday to complete their second rounds with the third round scheduled to start not before 8.30am at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s East course.

Turner compiled a two-day total of seven-under-par 135 for a one-shot lead over Masaru Takahashi of Japan, who returned with a 70, at the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Singapore’s Koh Deng Shan signed for a flawless 66 to stay a further shot back in third place while local hope Shaaban Hussin settled for fourth on 138 at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Masters, which is the penultimate tournament of the 2013 ADT season.

Overnight co-leader Iylia Jamil of Malaysia signed for a disappointing 74 to tie on sixth with compatriot Nicholas Fung on 140.

Turner, who was sidelined after undergoing a hand surgery in April, is glad to see his game picking up since returning to play on the ADT in July.

“I played solid today. My game is in a good shape and I’m happy with how I played. The course is in a great condition too but the hot weather was not really for me. Luckily it wasn’t windy in the morning which makes it easier to score,” said the lanky Irish, who fired seven birdies against three bogeys.

“I haven’t played much since April as I was recovering from a hand surgery. I started playing again in July and I’m doing great so far. Hopefully I can play better in the weekend rounds,” added the 30-year-old.

Koh continued to show progress with his form as he has now made five out of six cuts this season on the premier Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013.

“I hit the ball very good today. I made a couple of long putts for birdies. The whole layout of the course makes it really challenging. My game has been very consistent since the beginning of the year and my mental game has improved a lot as well. I will try my best tomorrow and we will see how it goes,” said the spirited 25-year-old.

“I’ve enjoyed playing on the Asian Tour and ADT. It has been great experiences and under the guidance of Asian Tour regulars Mardan Mamat and Zaw Moe, I have a better idea on how to handle the different golf courses. I guess there is still a lot for me to learn as it’s only my second year as a pro,” added Koh.

The top three players at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2014.

All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points starting this year. Winners on the ADT will receive a minimum of six world ranking points while the top six players and ties will earn points based on a sliding scale.

The ADT was launched in 2010 with five tournaments before growing to eight in 2011 and 13 last year. It has proven to be a successful platform for upcoming players to gain entry into the region’s premier Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013.

The PGM MIDF KLGCC Masters is co-sanctioned by the ADT and PGM Tour. It is the 15th and penultimate leg of the season, with details of the season-ending tournament to be announced in due course.