Photo - Asian Tour. Chan Yih-shin & Adam Blyth
BATTLING CHAN AND BLYTH TAKE CLUBHOUSE LEAD AT MERCURIES TAIWAN MASTERS
Taipei: Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin birdied the last hole to seize the second round clubhouse lead with Australia’s Adam Blyth at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Friday where play was suspended due to darkness.
Chan, winner of the King’s Cup in Thailand last season, mixed his scorecard with seven birdies against one bogey and one double bogey to finish on four-under-par 68 to tie with Blyth on a two-day total of one-under-par 143 at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
Overnight leader, Peter Karmis of South Africa is two-under through 15 holes and will resume the second round alongside 27 players at 7am on Saturday. The second round of the US$500,000 Asian Tour event was delayed for two hours and five minutes in the morning due to unplayable conditions.
Malaysia’s Iain Steel struggled on the greens to finish with a 73 alongside Siddikur, who is the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour at the Brunei Open in August, on a 144 total.
The fate of veteran golfer Hsieh Min-nan of Chinese Taipei, who is aiming to be the oldest golfer on the Asian Tour to make the cut at the age of 70, hangs in the balance as he finished on 75 on a 151 total.
Chan was a figure of consistency and credited a hot putter where he made 26 putts today. He made three consecutive birdies from the fourth hole and added another three straight birdies from the 12th hole.
However, the ever-smiling 33-year-old was disappointed not to take the outright clubhouse lead after a double bogey on the 10th hole when his greenside bunker shot flew over the green.
“Overall, I’m very happy with my round. The greens were softer after the rain and that made it easier to place my ball. I was more confident today of going for the pin,” said Chan.
Australian Blyth, who fired three birdies against one bogey for a 70, believes that patience will be the key to a good score.
“This is one of those courses where you have to stick in there and remain patient. You need to keep a level head and calm because the course can get you angry. You will get some bad bounces and breaks but you have to deal with it patiently,” said Blyth, who is searching for his maiden Asian Tour victory.
Siddikur credited his strong iron play for his impressive round where he sank four birdies from inside 10 feet.
“My second shot was excellent as I hit it close to the holes. Disappointingly my putting wasn’t at its best. My birdies were all inside 10 to 12 feet and once I got the ball at that distance, I felt very comfortable and confident to hole my putts compared to the ones from five feet,” said Siddikur, who learned the game by fashioning his first golf club with a seven iron head on a piece of metal rod.
Malaysian Steel, who started from the 10th tee, made the turn in 34 highlighted by a chip in birdie from 15 feet on the 14th hole but dropped three shots in his inward nine.
“It was a frustrating round for me. I thought I hit it good to go to under-par but I just couldn’t buy a putt,” said Steel who finished third place at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship two weeks ago.
Hsieh will be kept on the edge of his seat before the cut is made tomorrow but he is optimistic of his chances of writing a slice of history.
“I read the newspaper today that I could make history if I made the cut and I went out there determined to do just that and I hope things will work in my favour,” said Hsieh.