Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat pulled two shots clear in the US$2.75 million Maybank Malaysian Open after completing his second round with a four-under-par 68 this morning.
The big-hitting Thai made eight straight pars when play was resumed at 7.45am at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and was rewarded for his patience with a final hole birdie after an exquisite approach to three feet.
“I enjoyed my game. I had to cool myself down out there because I only had my first birdie of the day on the last hole. It was a good finish. I tried to stay calm out there because of the heat. I need to save my energy,” said the burly 23-year-old, who totalled 11-under-par 133.
Kiradech holds a two-shot lead over 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Wade Ormsby of Australia, Gregory Bourdy of France and China’s Wu Ashun at the joint-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.
Malaysia’s S. Murthy gave the galleries much to cheer about when he added a second round 70 to his opening 67, placing him within striking distance in joint eighth position on seven-under-par. Two other Malaysians made the cut which came at even par – amateur Gavin Kyle Green (32nd on three-under-par) and Danny Chia (40th on two-under-par).
Tournament favourite Luke Donald of England failed to make it to the weekend after a second round 73 placed him on three-over-par for the tournament.
133 – Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 65-68
135 – WU Ashun (CHN) 67-68, Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 67-68, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 70-65, Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 66-69
136 – Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 70-66, Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 67-69
137 – S. Murthy (MAS) 67-70, Padraig HARRINGTON (IRL) 69-68, David HOWELL (ENG) 69-68, Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA) 66-71, Alexander NOREN (SWE) 69-68, Peter LAWRIE (IRL) 68-69
138 – LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 70-68, Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 66-72, Lee SLATTERY (ENG) 68-70, LEE Sung (KOR) 68-70, Mark FOSTER (ENG) 69-69
139 – Rafa CABRERA-BELLO (ESP) 72-67, Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 69-70, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 68-71, Alastair FORSYTH (SCO) 69-70, Joonas GRANBERG (FIN) 71-68, Anders HANSEN (DEN) 66-73, Simon KHAN (ENG) 71-68
140 – Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 69-71, Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 71-69, Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 70-70, Jean GONNET (FRA) 70-70, Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 70-70, Joost LUITEN (NED) 69-71