Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)
Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng maintained his title charge at the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT with a second round 67 as compatriot Thongchai Jaidee maintained his Masters Tournament hopes.
The overnight leader, a six-time Asian Tour winner but without a victory since 2007, doubled his advantage to shots as he advanced to 12 under par.
Jaidee, who needs a win in Chiangmai to qualify for Augusta National, shot a fabulous 65 to move to tied second place with American Jonathan Moore (68) and India’s Digvijay Singh, who birdied his last three holes for a 67.
Hu Mu, playing on a sponsor’s invitation, stayed in the title hunt with a solid 69 for tied fifth place, three behind Marksaeng.
“It is actually a good idea to keep thinking about the Masters Tournament,” said World Number 59 Jaidee.
“I want to win this tournament. It is only the second round and I’m halfway there. I think I have a good chance because I’m only two shots away. If I can get another low round then I have a chance of winning.”
South African Ernie Els fell eight off the pace after a 71, but still hopes to go low over the weekend.
“It’s going to take a lot of work (to win),” said The Open Champion.
“I’ll go out there with an aggressive mindset tomorrow and hope to get something going. I’ve not had a really low round all year and I would love to have a low round in the next two days - that’s what I’ll be aiming for.
“It’ll take a lot to win the tournament from where I am. I just want to get some momentum going through the weekend.”