Saturday October 6, 2012
Charles charges into second round lead in Sarawak
PETALING JAYA: Charles Hong of the Philippines fired a three-under 69 to charge into the second-round lead in the PGM Sarawak Masters at the Sarawak Golf Club in Kuching yesterday.
The Filipino has a two-day total of four-under 140 and is one-shot ahead of Singapore’s rising star Choo Tze Huang, who shot a 70 yesterday, at the RM180,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Overnight leader George Gandranata of Indonesia posted a 75 for a share of third spot with Go Nakauchi (72) of Japan and Malaysian duo Jeremiah Kim (72) and Akhmal Tarmizee (73) on a two-day total of 143.
Hong, who is a civil engineer, got off to a hot start and was five-under at one stage before late bogeys on holes 16 and 17 curtailed his progress.
“I wasn’t thinking too much about the score because I was trailing by three shots at the start of the day.
“The birdies kept coming and although I finished with two bogeys, I’m still happy with my round,” said the 24-year-old.
“The course isn’t that long and there’s not a lot of trouble but the pins and greens are very tricky ... so you need to stay patient.”
Hong said he never planned to play golf professionally but decided to try his luck in the play-for-pay ranks after going through a golf training programme sponsored by ICTSI in the Philippines.
His decision to turn pro was rewarded with a first career victory in the Pueblo de Oro Championship at home last month.
Now, he is in the running to secure a dream win on the ADT.
“I never thought of turning professional but after I graduated and passed my civil engineering examinations, I told myself that I could be a professional golfer as I had nothing to lose,” said Hong.
“Last month’s win has boosted my confidence ... if I win here, it’ll prove that my earlier victory was not a fluke and that I’m able to compete on the international stage.”
Sixty players made the halfway cut, which was set at nine-over 153.
Leading second round scores
(Malaysia unless stated)
140: Charles Hong (Phi) 71-69;
141: Choo Tze Huang (Sin) 71-70;
143: Akhmal Tarmizee 70-73, Go Nakauchi (Jpn) 71-72, Jeremiah Kim 71-72, George Gandranata (Ina) 68-75;
144: James Lam (Phi) 70-74, Airil Rizman Zahari 71-73, S. Siva Chandhran 72-72;
145: Dinata Abdillah 73-72, Michael Moore (Aus) 71-74; 146: Mhark Fernando (Phi) 73-73, Mitsuhiko Hashizume (Jpn) 72-74, Sukree Othman 72-74, Kenneth De Silva 71-75, Jhonnel Ababa (Phi) 75-71.