Jyoti Randhawa made it a three-way tie for the lead in the Maybank Malaysian Open after the completion of the second round, birdieing the 17th to join Danny Chia and Nick Dougherty on the 12 under par mark.
Randhawa returned to Kota Permai Golf and Country Club at 7.45am to complete his final two holes after storms the previous day caused a two-hour delay. After a good night’s sleep, he birdied the par three 17th to move into a share of the lead. It was his seventh birdie of the round after making six, including four in a row at the start of the back nine, the previous day before bad light stopped play. A par at the last completed a round of 65.
“It was nice to finish off well today and I hope to continue my run,” said Randhawa, who has been in contention for the last two weeks in India and has already picked up three top tens on The European Tour this season.
“I just want to play the best golf and I will take it from there. I am excited and looking forward to playing the third round later and if I can keep it going, it would be great.”
With Chia and Dougherty safely in the clubhouse the previous day on 12 under par 132 after rounds of 67 and 70 respectively, Randhawa knew what was required and duly delivered thanks to some fine putting.
“I feel good,” he said. “I played well and didn’t drop any shots. I made a lot of birdies and I’m happy with where I am right now. I hit the ball fairly well and I was steady on the greens and this course rewards those who putt well so it worked out nicely for me.”
Søren Kjeldsen lies on 11 under par while Rafa Echenique joined defending champion Peter Hedblom of Sweden and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell on ten under par 134. The Argentinean had a chance to overhaul the leaders as he was only two off the lead with seven holes still to play when he resumed his round.
But he dropped a shot on the third, his 12th, and followed that with five pars and just the one birdie on the par five seventh for a round of four under par 68.
There was some early morning cheer for Italy’s Francesco Molinari as he holed-in-one on the 14th for the first ace of his European Tour career. Molinari holed out with a nine iron from 138 metres to claim the 12th hole-in-one of the European Tour season.