Sabah, Malaysia, September 21: American John Michael O’Toole continued his impressive run at the PGM EurAsia Sabah Championship by signing for a second round five-under-par 67 to secure the second round lead on Thursday.
O’Toole, who held a two-shot overnight lead, extended his advantage to five over Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn of Thailand with his two-day total of 11-under-par 133 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$44,600) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Paul Harris of the United States took third place by carding a 71 while Malaysia’s Kemarol Baharin and Brandon Lau were the best placed locals in tied-eighth place after they signed for matching 144 total.
O’Toole, who finished sixth on the ADT Order of Merit last year, started his round more than three hours later than his scheduled tee time due to heavy rain that pelted down on the Sabah Golf and Country Club in the morning.
When play finally resumed, the American got off to a convincing start with two birdies in his opening three holes. He birdied again on the par-four nine before turning in 33.
O’Toole dropped one shot on 14 but responded immediately by storming home with three successive birdies starting from the 16th hole.
“The morning rain made the course conditions tougher as the greens were softer. But I putted really well and I think that has been the key the last two days.
“I’m really excited about the next two rounds and I’m hoping my good form will continue,” said O’Toole who is seeking his second ADT win since his breakthrough in Perak last year.
The PGM EurAsia Sabah Championship was founded through the cooperation between the Asian Tour, European Tour and PGM Tour in organising the EurAsia Cup, a team match-play event between Asia and Europe.
By featuring on the ADT schedule, the PGM EurAsia Sabah Championship will offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading second round scores:
133 – John Michael O’TOOLE (USA) 66-67
138- Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) 69-69
140 – Paul HARRIS (USA) 69-71
141 – James BOWEN (USA) 71-70
142 - John CATLIN (USA) 73-69, Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 71-71, Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 71-71
144 - Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 70-74, Blake SNYDER (USA) 74-70, Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) 74-70, Brandon LAU Ka Kin(MAS) 73-71
About the 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 Web.com 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.