Niall Turner of Ireland launched his bid for a second win in Indonesia by shooting a five-under-par 67 to share the second round lead with Michael Moore of Australia in the inaugural Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament on Friday.
Turner, who won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title last month in Jakarta, traded six birdies against one bogey for an eight-under-par 136 total which was matched by Moore, who fired a superb 65 in the US$100,000 ADT event.
Ye Jian-feng of China and Thai brothers Sattaya and Poosit Supupramai registered 69, 68 and 70 respectively to share third place at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course. Overnight leader James Byrne of Scotland stumbled to a 74 to tie in sixth place with Jake Stirling of Australia and Annop Tangkamolprasert on 138.
Turner continues to play some of his best golf after undergoing surgery to recover from a hip injury which hampered his golf career for several years. His only blemish of the day came after a three-putt on the sixth hole but he recovered brilliantly courtesy of his sharp-shooting approach shots.
“I played great and I didn’t seem to miss the green. Everything worked for me. I’ve been hitting the ball really good lately so it is great to be leading again,” said the 31-year-old Turner.
“I really enjoy Jakarta. I won my first ADT title here and it is nice to be back. Everything about the country is nice. It isn’t too warm here as well so I feel comfortable out on the course,” he explained.
Moore shot the lowest round of the day courtesy of an eagle three on the fourth hole which he holed from five feet after hitting a solid five iron from 191 metres. He was delighted to be in contention for a first ADT win.
“It was a pretty steady round. The wind picked up today but I played a lot of smart golf. Obviously it was a good eagle and I was glad to birdie two of my last three holes to share the lead,” said Moore.
Byrne, a former Walker Cup star and a winner on the ADT, slipped down the leaderboard after carding three birdies against three bogeys and one double bogey.
“I didn’t hole as many putts as I did in the first round. I wasn’t expecting to shoot another 64 but I was trying to shoot under par. There is a low score on this golf course but you have to be careful where you place your shots,” said the 25-year-old Byrne.
The halfway cut was set at one-over-par 145 with a total of 52 players progressing into the weekend rounds.
Starting this season, the ADT will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season.
This is a significant boost for aspiring professionals on the ADT as it is the highest number of Asian Tour cards up for grabs since the burgeoning Tour was inaugurated as a gateway to the Asian Tour in 2010. Only the top three players on the final ADT Order of Merit for each season obtained their Asian Tour cards in the past.
Leading second round scores:
136 – Niall TURNER (IRL) 69 67, Michael MOORE (AUS) 71 65
137 – YE Jian-feng (CHN) 68 69, Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 69 68, Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 67 70
138 – Jake STIRLING (AUS) 68 70, James BYRNE (SCO) 64 74, Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 69 69
139 – Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 68 71, PARK Jin-Woo (KOR) 71 68, Brett MUNSON (USA) 71 68
140 – Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 72 68, Paul HARRIS (USA) 68 72, Jay BAYRON (PHI) 69 71, Anura ROHANA (SRI) 68 72, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 69 71
141 – Grant JACKSON (ENG) 71 70, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 71 70, Darren TAN (AUS) 71 70, William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 71 70, Nabil ABDUL (AUS) 71 70, Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) 70 71, Nils FLOREN (SWE) 71 70, Zaw MOE (MYN) 68 73