Friday, 25 October 2013
Daniel Im  (Getty Images)
Daniel Im (Getty Images)
A little touch of brotherly love helped Daniel Im to the lead at the midway point of the inaugural National Bank of Oman Golf Classic, as the American carded a three under par second round of 69 with his brother on the bag to move one clear in Muscat.

Im admitted that he had not been very close to his younger brother growing up due to a five-year age gap but they have recently bonded as the older of the two began his quest for European Tour stardom. 

It certainly gave him a fillip on day two at the stunning Almouj Golf, The Wave as he moved one clear of the chasing pack on six under, thanks to five birdies and two bogeys.

Im currently lies in 21st position in the Challenge Tour Rankings and needs a big finish to the season if he is to move into the crucial top 15 and secure graduation to The European Tour, barely a year after travelling to Europe for the first time.

He did those chances no harm at the penultimate event of the 2013 campaign and Im thinks his brother - also a professional golfer who plied his trade in Asia this year - has brought the perfect blend of added expertise and mental tranquillity to the equation having taken up the bag at last week’s Foshan Open, where ‘Team Im’ finished tied 12th.

“I've been hitting it really well all year and just haven’t been making the putts but my brother has been helping me with my putting stroke and I think it’s working,” said the 28 year old.

“He’s my younger brother and he also plays but he has some time off now so he just said, ’bro I want to come out and help you out’.

“He makes me laugh sometimes when I'm heated and that keeps me in a good mood. He will be with me next week at Grand Final and hopefully for a while.

“It’s great having him on my bag. When we grew up we were kind of distant because he is five years younger and we had different groups of friends. But starting at the end of last year when he caddied for me at Qualifying School Final Stage (where Im earned his Challenge Tour card), we got together for a good period of time and shared some moments and got pretty close.

“Now it’s pretty comfortable I guess and it’s helping my golf. I can trust him, he’s a professional golfer and I know that he cares, so it’s helpful mentally.

“I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing for the last couple of days, keeping it on the fairways and greens and trying to make one-putts or two-putts.

“I haven’t had a good run of a few good results this year so hopefully this is that stretch for me. I'm looking forward to the weekend.”

There were three players tied for second place heading into the weekend in Oman including Finland’s Roope Kakko, who currently lies in 17th position in the Challenge Tour Rankings and is chasing a big result to climb into the top 15 with next week’s season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club looming large. He carded a three under par 69 to move to four under par for the tournament.

Marco Crespi is also just one shot off the pace in Oman after a second round 67 and his goals are a little different as he attempts to consolidate or better his 14th position in the Rankings, the Italian edging closer to a rookie season on The European Tour.

They were both joined by promising 20 year old South African Brandon Stone, who carded a four under par 68.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KAKKO, RoopeFIN18-14
3IM, DanielUSA18-10
T4FORD, MattENG18-7
T4STONE, BrandonRSA18-7
T6AN, Byeong-hunKOR18-5
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