Hsinchu, Chinese Taipei, May 22: Local hotshot Chan Shih-chang fired a flawless five-under-par 67 to grab a slender one-shot lead over countryman Lin Wen-tang at the halfway stage of the US$120,000 Ambassador ADT on Friday.
Chan, who held a share of the overnight lead with an opening 69, stayed on track for a record fifth Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory after nailing five birdies for an eight-under-par 136 total at the Hsin Feng Golf and Country Club.
Lin closed with two birdies to take second place while American Blake Snyder settled two shots back in third place on 139. Both Lin and Snyder have matched the efforts of Chan with a second round 67 at the Ambassador ADT, which is the 11th leg of the 2015 ADT season.
Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei posted a 71 to stay five shots off the pace in fourth place with American Sam Cyr, who returned with a 69, at the ADT event.
Chan, who started from the 10th tee, credited his hot putter for a good round which he believed could have been better if he had chipped better.
“I didn’t capitalize on my par-fives today. I had birdie chances but I didn’t chip well on the ninth and 18th holes where I settled for pars. My putting was good today and I birdied from close range on seventh, eighth and 16th holes,” said Chan.
“The rain didn’t really affect me but I did have some misjudgments on the clubs to use on certain holes. I thought I need to hit it further because of the rain but the ball went over the pin instead. The rain didn’t really make much of a difference actually. It was raining but it wasn’t windy.
“Overall, I’m happy with how I played. I putted well today and it’s the key to play well on this course. I would have scored lower if I chipped well,” added Chan, a four-time ADT winner who finished second on the ADT Order of Merit last season to secure his 2015 playing rights on the Asian Tour.
Like Chan, Lin also banked on his home course familiarity to cap a commendable round at the Hsin Feng Golf and Country Club, where he claimed his first professional victory at the 1998 Hsin Feng Open.
“I putted very well. The two bogeys on sixth and seventh were due to bad drives but I recovered well. I’m really happy with how I played today given the conditions out there. I tried not to be too aggressive because you can easily end up hitting doubles or triples,” said the 40-year-old Lin, who amassed only 27 putts.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Chan tomorrow. He is a good player and we practiced a lot together so there will not be any pressure. To me, it’s you against the golf course and you should be playing against yourself. I have been working on my fitness for the last couple of months. I will just play my best tomorrow and we will see how it goes,” added Lin.
Snyder, who hails from Seattle, is relishing his prospects of playing in the weekend rounds as he kept chase for a maiden ADT win.
“It was certainly great to finish with two birdies on the 17th and 18th holes. The putter was working really well. It seems like I was able to get a good feel on the greens throughout the round. I gave myself a lot of chances for birdies and I was barely missing the greens,” said the 23-year-old American, who traded seven birdies against two bogeys.
“It was a little wet today but overall, it was pretty good. The playing conditions were pretty much similar to what we get back home. I had a perfect drive on the 17th and a perfect second shot with an eight-iron onto the green. I made a 40-footer putt for birdie on the 12th as well,” added Snyder, who turned professional in 2014 and is playing in his first year on the ADT.
A total of 62 players made the halfway cut which was set at six-over-par 150.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in both 2014 and 2015.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading second round scores:
136 – CHAN Shih-chang (TWN) 69-67
137 – LIN Wen-tang (TWN) 70-67
139 – Blake SNYDER (USA) 72-67
141 – HSIEH Chi-hsien (TWN) 70-71, Sam CYR (USA) 72-69
142 – Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 72-70, CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 71-71
143 – LU Wei-chih (TWN) 69-74, LIN Chien-bing (TWN) 70-73, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 74-69
144 – CHEN Hao-sen (TWN) 74-70, Darren TAN (AUS) 70-74, TSENG Hong-sheng (TWN) 74-70, CHIANG Chen-chih (TWN) 72-72, Jake STIRLING (AUS) 71-73, HSIEH Tung-hung (TWN) 72-72
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.