Nakul and Pucay share halfway lead
Thailand's up and coming golfer Nakul Vichitryuthasastr and Mars Pucay from the Philippines took a share of the halfway lead in the US$50,000 Mercedes-Benz Championship Vietnam today, when Nakul carded a one-under-par 71, the joint best round of the day, and Pucay a 72 to move in front on three-under-par 141.
Vietnamese amateur Huynh Van Son, who started the day sharing the lead with Nakul and Pucay, came in with a 74 and is two off the lead at Vietnam Golf & Country Club.
Nakul has been a regular feature on the leader boards on this year's ASEAN Golf Tour - which was launched in September to provide more playing opportunities for players like the young Thai.
"I have played in all four events so far this year and I am becoming more comfortable playing at this level. I played well today but made some mistakes on the back nine," said Nakul.
He was coasting along playing flawless golf moving to three under for his round after birdies on five, 10 and 12. However bogeys on 13 and 14, a birdie on 15 and another dropped shot on 16 was not the finish he was looking for.
"Maybe I lost a bit of concentration. I am not sure, sometimes this game is difficult to understand," added Nakul. The Thai player finished joint sixth in the Laguna National ASEAN Championship last week in Singapore.
He was also first round leader in the Active Mount Malarayat Championship in the Philippines last month, which was won by the man he currently shares top spot with. Said Pucay: "Level par today is okay. It's not an easy course as the greens are very quick and undulating. You are in trouble if you get above the hole. You have to hit your putts on the exact line otherwise your ball can spin away from the cup." Huynh once again delighted the crowds with another strong round which keeps him well in contention.
The 29 year old did well to recover after a shaky start which saw him bogey the fifth and double the next hole. However, he recovered with birdies on the seventh and ninth. "To shoot 69 and 74 in the first two rounds is really great for me. I am feeling nervous but I am getting more confident," said Huynh.
The Vietnam golfer, who is one of eight amateurs from his country playing in the event, has worked at Vietnam Golf & Country Club for nearly 12 years as a caddie and marshall. Philippine amateur Jay Bayron is three off the lead after shooting a 75 along with Thailand's Pol Kemmarat.
Leading second round scores -
141 – Nakul Vichitryuthasastr (THA) 70-71, Mars Pucay (PHI) 69-72
143 - Huynh Van Son (VNM) (a) 69-74
144 – Jay Bayron (PHI) (a) 69-75, Pol Kemmarat (THA) 69-75
145 – Felix Casas (PHI) 71-74, Sirapong Maitreeyuenyong (THA) 73-72, Pijit Petchakasem (THA) 70-75
146 - Khor Kheng Hwai (MAS) 71-75
(a) denotes amateur
November 15, 2007