Local favourite Danny Chia grabbed the lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open today after a solid start to his second round at Saujana Golf & Country Club.
The 36-year-old Malaysian began the day four shots adrift of overnight leader Noh Seung-yul of Korea after carding a six-under-par 66 yesterday but made up the deficit with birdies on four of his first eight holes after teeing off on the back nine.
He parred the next four holes to draw level with the Korean teenager before taking the outright lead with an eagle on the par-four fourth which put him at 12 under in the USD2 million tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
Simon Griffiths also made a flying start, surging up to fourth place after making five birdies on the front nine.
The 35-year-old Englishman, who is an Asian Tour regular, began his round on two under and quickly climbed up the leaderboard with birdies on four of the first five holes.
He made his fifth birdie of the day on the eighth to make the turn at seven under.
Joining Griffiths on seven under was Nick Dougherty, who was one under for the day after three birdies and two bogeys through his first 12 holes.
Thai ace Prayad Marksaeng improved to six under through 12 holes after making three birdies but compatriot Thongchai Jaidee did not fare so well, dropping back to one under after a pair of bogeys.
World number 11 Anthony Kim of the United States made a positive start after his disastrous 78 yesterday, picking up four birdies to improve to two over after 12 holes.