Itthipat seizes the halfway lead at the PGM MIDF Championship

Thu 18 Oct 2018

Itthipat seizes the halfway lead at the PGM MIDF Championship


Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, October 19: Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat carded a six-under-par 66 to take pole position at the PGM MIDF Championship on Friday.

Itthipat, currently ranked 13th on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit, mixed his card with one eagle, five birdies and one bogey to grab a four-shot lead at the RM225,000 (approx. US$58,000) event.

Singapore’s Abdul Hadi signed for a 65 to take a share of second place with local talent, Shahriffuddin Ariffin on a seven-under-par 137 total at the the Kota Seriemas Golf and Country Club.

Three players sit in tied-fourth on 138, including American duo Sam Gillis (70) and Tarik Can (71) and Thailand’s Donlaphatchai Niyomchon (71).

Play was suspended at 10am local time on Thursday due to lightning threats before resuming at 12.20pm. It was later abandoned at 6.56pm due to fading light. The 25-year-old Thai was among 24 players who returned on Friday morning to complete their second rounds at 7.30am.

Itthipat made a birdie on the tenth and dropped a shot on on hole 13 before recovering with a fantastic eagle on hole 15 to turn in 34. He grabbed four more birdies on his inward nine for a 32.

“I was playing like how I did in my first round, steady and focused. I made a good drive on hole 15 but I missed my approach shot to the green. Then, I chipped in from 30 yards and that was the turning point for me,” said Itthipat.

The 19-year-old Shahriffuddin, who broke through on the ADT two months ago, put on a short game masterclass to surge into contention.

 “I was honestly feeling very tired today because it is my second week in a row having to deal with rain delays. My short game saved me today, I made about four up-and-downs to save par. But overall, I just stuck to my game plan and keep hitting fairways and greens,” said Shahriffuddin, who amassed 28 putts in his second round.

Can, 33, bidding for his maiden ADT victory, stood tall in blustery conditions to mark his card with two birdies against a bogey.

“It was pretty difficult out there before the rain delay because of the wind. But I made a couple of good putts today like on hole 17 where I sank a 20-footer for birdie. I am hitting it well and I feel pretty good with my position right now,” said Can.

A total of 55 players made the halfway cut set at four-over-par 148.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

All ADT events are afforded with Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Leading second round scores:

133 - Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 67 66

137 - Shahriffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 71 66, Abdul Hadi (SGP) 72 65

138 - Tarik CAN (USA) 67 71, Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 67 71, Sam GILLIS (USA) 68 70

139 - Naoki SEKITO (JPN) 69 70, Poom PATTAROPONG (THA) 70 69, Pisitchai THIPPONG (THA) 68 71

140 - Amir NAZRIN (MAS) 69 71, M. Sasidaran (MAS) 68 72, Shakhawat SOHEL (BAN) 72 68

141 - Justin DE LOS SANTOS (USA) 73 68


About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.