Friday February 1, 2013
Iain Steels shares second round lead with Hashizume
PETALING JAYA: Malaysiaís Iain Steel carded a four-under 68 to share the halfway lead with Japanís Mitsuhiko Hashizume at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Masters at the Rahman Putra Golf and Country Club.
The Sabahan, who missed out on an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School last week, is tied with Hashizume, who carded a 67, on eight-under 136 at the US$65,000 (RM200,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event yesterday.
This is the first ADT tournament to receive world ranking points this season.
Local hope R. Nachimuthu, who shared the opening round lead with Singaporean Mardan Mamat, was a shot further back after a two-under 70.
Singaporeans Lam Chih Bing and Quincy Quek, who has won once on the ADT, Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden and Uli Weinhandl of Austria trail the leaders by three shots.
Steel has been suffering from a back injury for nearly two years and lost his Asian Tour card in 2011 Ė the first time since he joined the regionís established Tour in 2006.
He admitted that he had thought of changing his career path after he failed to regain his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School.
ďI was in a slump after Qualifying School. I didnít really want to be here but, after going through the practice motion, I was back in the groove again. I have a little bit of pride ... I donít just show up at events. Fortunately, a few putts dropped today and I had two good results,Ē said the 41-year-old Steel.
ďAfter Qualifying School, it crossed my mind to change career.
ďMy wife keeps dropping hints and my dad keeps knocking on that door.
ďBut if my body is close to 90%, then I think I can still be competitive.Ē
But a pair of 68s after two days has Steel with a glimmer of hope as he aims to finish in the top three of the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season to earn an Asian Tour card for 2014.
A total of 54 players made the halfway cut, which was set at two-over 146.