Young Guns to the Fore

Thu 06 Aug 2009

Young Guns to the Fore

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Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, August 6: Asia's rising stars Noh Seung-yul of Korea and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat shared the limelight after taking the joint second round lead at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Thursday.


 


The 18-year-old Noh and Kiradech, 20, shot a three-under-par 68 and 70 respectively to head the pack with their two-day total of seven-under-par 135 at the Seri Selangor Golf Club.


 


The supremely talented duo lead by one stroke from South Africa's James Kamte and Malaysian Shaaban Hussin in the RM1 million (US$300,000) Asian Tour tournament. Kamte stayed in the hunt with a battling 70 while Shaaban produced a 69 to fly the local flag.


 


Australian Mitchell Brown, Chinese Taipei veteran Lu Chien-soon and another Malaysian, S. Siva Chandhran lie in tied fifth position on 137, going into the final two rounds.


 


Noh, winner of the Midea China Classic and Rookie of the Year last season, showed why he is one of Korea's most exciting prospects as he put himself in position for a second Asian Tour title, thanks to an eagle and five birdies.


 


"Overall, I am happy with my game but it is still too early to be excited because it is only the second day. I'm looking forward to do better in the final two days," said Noh, who has three-top-10s this season.


 


"I've enjoyed two consistent rounds because my irons are working well. I dropped two shots with a three putt on the 14th green and my tee shot at the 17th hole ended up under the trees but that's okay."


 


The burly Kiradech, a former world junior amateur champion, could have taken sole lead but double bogeyed the 18th hole after sending an errant drive into the water hazard. The Asian Tour rookie is still confident of producing his career breakthrough.


 


"I was aiming for the right side of the fairway on the 18th hole but it went too far right," lamented Kiradech. "I'm just going to keep going for the next two days. Today my irons weren't solid the back nine but I was lucky to save several shots," he added.


 


The powerful Kamte, winner for the Asian Tour International in Bangkok earlier this season, rued a cold putter as he battled the tricky greens at the par-71 course. "After my first tee shot which I hit to about a foot on the first hole, I went on to three-putt from eight feet on the next hole. My putting was horrible. I kept hitting good shots but my putting let me down," said Kamte.


 


"It was frustrating with the par fives where I made pars, so that's a few shots that I threw away but looking on the positive side, I am still in the hunt and one shot behind," he added.


 


The 29-year-old Shaaban, playing on his home course, continued to ride on his impressive form when he holed a 20-foot putt for an eagle on the sixth hole. The Malaysian was delighted that childhood friend and touring partner, Siva Chandhran, is also in contention.


 


"We always train together and the opportunity for us to be in contention is a great honour. This is an Asian Tour tournament and it is very rarely you can be right up there at the top, so I'm going to go all out and do my best over the next two days," said Shaaban, who posted his career first top-10 at the Brunei Open last week.


 


The halfway cut was set at three-over-par 145 with 71 players making the last two rounds. Overnight leader Danny Chia of Malaysia, still suffering from flu, slipped back to tied 30th place after a 77 while title holder Ben Leong is in joint 55th place on 144.


 


Leading second round scores


135 - Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 67-68, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 65-70


136 - James Kamte (RSA) 66-70, Shaaban Hussin (MAS) 67-69


137 - Lu Chien-soon (TPE) 71-66, S. Siva Chandhran (MAS) 69-68, Mitchell Brown (AUS) 68-69


138 - Gaurav Ghei (IND) 71-67, Iain Steel (MAS) 66-72, Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 69-69, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 73-65, Kim Dae-hyun (KOR) 73-65, Marcus Both (AUS) 70-68


139 - Muhammad Munir (PAK) 73-66, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-70, Rick Kulacz (AUS) 68-71, Son Joon-eob (KOR) 73-66


 


 


For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Chuah Choo Chiang or Doyle De Costa at the media centre tel: +603 7805 7710. Also visit www.asiantour.com for Live Scoring starting on Wednesday.


 


About the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters 2009


The Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters will be staged at Seri Selangor Golf Club from August 5 to 8, 2009 and offer RM1 million (US$300,000) in total prize money. The event, which made its Asian Tour debut last year, is title sponsored by Worldwide Holdings Berhad while other sponsors include Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad, CIMB Group, Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam, Majlis Perbandaran Sepang and Majlis Perbandaran Selayang. The event is also supported by Srixon, 100Plus and Ricoh.


 


About the Asian Tour


As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.