Kuala Lumpur, February 2: Vietnam’s Michael Tran, made a charge in his second round with a six-under-par 65 to make a comeback from his first day struggles at the Maybank Championship on Friday.
The 28-year-old was among the five invites in the ASEAN Category, along with Singaporean Quincy Quek, Indonesian Rory Hie, Justin Quiban of the Philippines and Naing Naing Lin of Myanmar, to compete in the third edition of the event and was the only one to have made the weekend rounds.
The Vietnamese fired three consecutive birdies, a par, followed by two more birdies on holes five and six, two pars and ended a fantastic first nine with a birdie to make the turn at 30. He bagged two more birdies on holes 10 and 11 but slowed down on his final seven holes with one dropped shot on hole 16 for an outward 35.
Playing in his first tournament of the 2018 season, and admittedly the biggest tournament on his schedule, he came in with zero expectations and was happy to have his best friend on his bag this week. Tran struggled on the greens today with a total of 30 putts, however he owed his low round to his ball-striking and course management this week having hit all 18 greens and made 12 of 14 fairways to come in at tied-36th place.
The halfway cut was set at four-under-par 140 with a total of 81 players making the weekend rounds.
Did you know?
- Michael Tran became the first Vietnamese to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) following his win at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament in 2015.
- Tran’s best finish at the Maybank Championship was 2016 where he made the weekend rounds and came in tied-60th.
- He missed the cut in 2017 after shooting rounds of 71,73.
- Tran turned professional in 2008.
- He is currently the only Vietnamese on the Asian Tour.
- He enjoyed one top ten finish last year at the Charming Yeangder ADT event.
- Tran spent several years in California where he attended high school and played competitive golf there.
- He picked up golf when he was in New Zealand in 2002 as part of a student exchange programme.
- In 2012, Michael showed his talent when he contended at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters before finishing third.
Michael Tran (Vie) – Round two 65 (-7) Total 138 (-6)
I got a bit lucky on the greens today and I just wanted to get as close to the line as possible and I holed key putts because my caddy and I read the lines well. The greens are very undulated so I’m satisfied to have made that many birdies. I made the cut the first time I played Maybank but last year I missed the cut, so I came into this week treating it like any other tournament. It’s probably the biggest tournament I’ll play this year and I just want to enjoy the moment. I feel very good about my round. I had it going for about 11 holes and I really needed that. After the first round I was very worried about today, but I started off so good and I did not even think about my score. For me to play in the Maybank Championship is like a dream come true, it is like a Major for me. For the first time I have my best friend on my bag we turned professional together and he has been very supportive. There isn’t really a lot of tournaments for us to play, and its surprising since a lot of us from Asia are used to play in these conditions so we should have more tournaments to play in. I think my mindset is to just take it one shot at a time, my goal was to make the weekend, and now I can go into the weekend with no expectations.