Jeff Overton charged into a share of the second round lead of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia with a scintillating round of nine-under-par 62, setting a new course record at The Mines Resort & Golf Club.
The 28-year-old American nailed seven birdies and one eagle to storm up the leaderboard into a share of top spot on 13-under-par with Swede Fredrik Jacobson, who came in with a second round 64. Overton’s compatriot, Bo Van Pelt, added a 64 to his opening 66 to be one shot back of the leaders on 12-under-par.
With a new set of Cleveland irons in his bag, Overton was in imperious form from tee to green with most of his birdies coming from close range. The highlight of his round came at the short par four 15th hole when he drove the green and left himself just six feet for eagle.
“A couple of weeks ago, I changed clubs and I finished sixth basically the first week I used them, at the McGladrey Classic. I was hitting the ball really well but kind of struggled with my putter. Today, everything just clicked. I was hitting everything stone cold, and it was a lot of fun,” said Overton, who got a start in the tournament following the withdrawal of David Duval. He only arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday evening.
“This golf course is so much fun to play. If you’re hitting it great, you can have scoring opportunities. I’m just having a blast,” added the American, who opened his campaign with a 67.
Crowd favourite Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela shot 69 to be in tied fourth position on nine-under-par with Americans Mark Wilson, Stewart Cink and Jimmy Walker.
Meanwhile, first round leader Robert Allenby of Australia fell back into ninth spot on seven-under-par after an erratic one-over-par 72, a far cry from his opening 63. 2010 champion Ben Crane was in joint on 18th spot on five-under-par after rounds of 69 and 68
The biggest cheers of the day were reserved for Malaysian number one Danny Chia, who shot a superb 65 to move up into joint 13th place on six-under-par. Adopting a more cautious approach off the tee, Chia raked up seven birdies against one bogey to earn bragging rights as the best-placed Asian in the field after two rounds along with Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil.
“I told myself I need to be patient and the birdies will come. There’s no point for me to be aggressive and go for everything,” said Chia.
The other Malaysian in the field, Shaaban Hussin, carded a second successive 72 and is in 44th place on two-over-par.
The CIMB Asia Pacific Classic,Malaysiafeatures a 48-player field comprising 30 from thePGATOUR, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions. There is no halfway cut and the winner will pocket a tidy US$1.3 million from the US$6.1 million total purse.
Leading Second Round Scores:
129 – Fredrik Jacobson (SWE), Jeff Overton (USA)
130 – Bo Van Pelt (USA)
133 – Mark Wilson (USA), Stewart Cink (USA), Jimmy Walker (USA), Jhonattan Vegas (VEN)
134 – Cameron Tringale (USA)
135 – Camilo Villegas (COL), Jerry Kelly (USA), Carl Pettersson (SWE), Robert Allenby (AUS)
136 – Danny Chia (MAS), Vijay Singh (FIJ), Chris Kirk (USA), Ryan Palmer (USA), Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA)
137 – Jason Duffner (USA), Kiradech Aphibanrat (THA), Spencer Levin (USA), Jonathan Byrd (USA), Ben Crane (USA), Kyle Stanley (USA), John Senden (AUS)
138 – Rory Sabbatini (RSA), Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Tommy Gainey (USA)
139 – Stuart Appleby (AUS), Brandt Snedeker (USA), Ryan More (USA), D.A. Points (USA), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Scott Stallings (USA)
140 – Jbe Kruger (RSA), Chez Reavie (USA), Ricky Barnes (USA), Brendon De Jonge (ZIM)
141 – Lucas Glover (USA), Siddikur (BAN)
142 – Brian Davis (ENG), Chan Yih-shin (TPE), Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JPN), Charley Hoffman (USA)
144 – Shaaban Hussin (MAS), David Gleeson (AUS)
146 – S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND), Angel Cabrera (ARG)
147 – Brendan Steele (USA)