PGM Northport Glenmarie C'ship: Malaysia’s Gavin Green pushes into joint lead with Chikka S of India

Chikkarangappa S at PGM Northport Glenmarie ChampionshipShah Alam, Malaysia: Malaysia’s Gavin Green signed for a one-under-par 71 to share the halfway lead with overnight leader and playing partner Chikkarangappa S. of India at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship on Thursday.

Trailing by one going into the round, Green marked his card with five birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey for a two-shot lead on eight-under-par 136 total with Chikkarangappa, who carded a 72, at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club’s garden course.

2014 Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand battled to a 72 to share third place with local hope Mohd Iylia Jamil, who registered a 71, in the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) event.

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin fired a 69 to stay a further shot in fifth place with Clarke Lutton of Scotland (71) on 139 while defending champion Blake Snyder of the United States unfortunately missed the halfway cut following a second straight 75.

Green, who claimed a second place finish in the last edition, showed his potential when he fought back with three birdies after an opening bogey before dropping another shot to turn in 35. He went on to fire two straight birdies from 11th but gave the two shots back on 16th after making a double-bogey.

“Overall, I played pretty alright. I hit a wayward drive on 16 which resulted in the double-bogey but the game is still pretty solid although I didn’t hit it as good as I did yesterday. I made a couple more mistakes today compared to yesterday too,” said the 22-year-old Green, who became the first amateur to win on the ADT in 2014.

“I just want to keep to my momentum for the next two rounds and just keep doing what I have doing. I am enjoying life as a professional so far. I believe I am slowly progressing and I am happy as long as I make improvements week after week,” added Green, who turned professional last June.

Chikkarangappa, a two-time winner on the region’s burgeoning Tour, was delighted to hold on to a share of the lead after battling through the windy conditions in the afternoon.

The 22-year-old Indian, who played in the same group as Green, capped a similar front nine 35 as the Malaysian before dropping two shots with a double-bogey on 10th. He recovered swiftly with a birdie on the next and reeled in seven straight pars for a battling round of 72.

“I got off to a bad start but I managed to steady the ship after that. The wind was up in the afternoon and I wasn’t able to drop as many putts as I did yesterday but overall, I am still hitting it good.

“The highlight of the round came on the par-four seventh where I sank a 20-footer left to right for birdie. I look forward to the next two rounds and playing with Gavin (Green) again tomorrow,” said Chikkarangappa, who enjoyed a tied-fourth finish on the Asian Tour in Bangladesh a fortnight ago.

A total of 57 players made the halfway cut set at one-over-par 145 at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship, which is the fifth leg of the ADT schedule this season.

The Glenmarie Golf and Country Club was the host venue of the prestigious EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM which was held last month.

With the Olympic Games looming this July 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.

Leading second round results:

136 - Gavin GREEN (MAS) 65 71, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 64 72
138 - Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 66 72, Mohd Iylia JAMIL (MAS) 67 71
139 - Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 70 69, Clarke LUTTON (SCO) 68 71
140 - Danny MASRIN (INA) 68 72, Sam CYR (USA) 73 67, Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 69 71, LOW Khai Jei (MAS) 70 70
141 - Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 68 73, Sorachut HANSAPIBAN (THA) 71 70, George GANDRANATA (INA) 72 69, Greg MOSS (USA) 69 72, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 67 74, Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 70 71, R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 69 72, Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 74 67, Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 69 72, Lexus KEONINH (USA) 67 74, John CATLIN (USA) 70 71
142 - KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS) 71 71, Jihwan PARK (KOR) 75 67, Ben LEONG (MAS) 70 72, Kevin TECHAKANOKBOON (THA) 68 74, Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 70 72, Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) 70 72, Mohamad Azman BASHARUDIN (MAS) 69 73