Friday, April 29, 2011


Batu Gajah, Perak , Malaysia: Veteran Canadian golfer Rick Gibson turned back time to share the second round clubhouse lead with Pornpong Phatlum of Thailand at the Clearwater Masters 2011 today.
Gibson, 49, who won the 1991 Malaysian Open, posted a four-under-par 68 while Pornpong birdied the last hole to return with a 67 for a two-day total of six-under-par 138 in the US$75,000 Asian Development Tour event.
Shaaban Hussin of Malaysia shot his best career score of 65 to share third place with teen sensation Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Hong Kong’s Timothy Tang on a 139 total at the Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort in Batu Gajah, Perak, which is a 90-minute drive from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
Thailand ’s Somkiat Srisa-nga fired the tournament’s first hole-in-one on the par three seventh hole when his seven iron shot landed 10 feet from the hole before rolling in. He posted a 69 for a 141 total.
The ace earned him a lifetime membership at the Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort worth RM32,000 plus RM2,000 in cash.
A thunderstorm at 9.30am which lasted for three hours and 50 minutes meant the second round was suspended at 7.15pm due to darkness. A total of 68 players including overnight leader Berry Henson of the United States will return Saturday morning at 7.40am to complete their rounds.
After nearly four years since playing competitively, Gibson returned with a polished performance highlighted by six birdies against two bogeys.
“I felt better with the putter. It has been being nearly four years since I played competitively and my putting hasn’t been like how it was,” said Gibson, who has won numerous titles across Asia and has represented his country in six World Cups.
Gibson was delighted to upstage his protégé Tabuena for the first time since the young Filipino turned professional. He believes playing against the talented and young Asian Development Tour players will prepare him for the Senior Tour. “I’m getting ready for the senior tour because I turn 50 in October. I also want to spend some time with Miguel Tabuena. I noticed that I got him by a shot after two rounds! Miguel at the age of 16 is a really good player and I feel pretty proud to be ahead of him after two rounds,” added the Canadian, who has lived in the Philippines for the past 20 years.
Playing on an invite, Pornpong, 24, turned in 32 before shooting eight straight pars. He shot a birdie on the last after missing an eagle opportunity from 20 feet to share the second round honours.
“My putting was really good and it pulled my game. I couldn’t get my game going in the back nine and was lucky not to shoot a bogey. Overall, it was a solid round for me,” said Pornpong, who is searching for his maiden professional victory this week.
Local hope Shaaban, who played with Lee Westwood in the third round of the Indonesian Masters, recovered from his opening 74 with eight birdies highlighted by a chip in from 10 feet on hole two.
“I tried to play like Westwood yesterday which obviously didn’t work out. I played my own game today and did very well,” said Shaaban.
He was disappointed not to go lower after missing birdie putts from inside five feet.
“I could have gone lower like eight or 10-under but missed a lot of short putts. But it is okay because shooting a 65 on the second day is a really good score. I think this is my best score so far in my career,” added Shaaban.
Par 144 (2x72)138 Pornpong PHATLUM (THA) 71-67, Rick GIBSON (CAN) 70-68
139 Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-70, Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 74-65, Timothy TANG (HKG) 71-68
141 Mohd Amli (MAS) 70-71, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 71-70, Somkiat SRISA-NGA (THA) 72-69
142 Haziq HAMIZAN (MAS) 69-73, CHANG Tse-peng (TPE) 70-72, Yuki USAMI (JPN) 70-72, Nick REDFERN (ENG) 71-71
144 Justin EVANS (ENG) 71-73, Aadil JEHANGIR (PAK) 72-72, Zaw MOE (MYA) 74-70, Llewellyn MATTHEWS (WLS) 73-71
145 Kenichi SAWADA (JPN) 72-73, Artemio MURAKAMI (PHI) 71-74, Dinata ABDILLAH (MAS) 73-72, Pongthep JAEWCHUMNANCHAO (THA) 71-74



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