Park takes Clubhouse lead

Welshman David Park holds the clubhouse lead in the disrupted Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

The second day’s play was abandoned early following a lightning storm and heavy downpour, leaving 84 players to complete their second round on Saturday.

First-day clubhouse leader Thaworn Wiratchant and pre-tournament favourite Padraig Harrington were among the 18 players who were not even able to start their rounds.

Park was one of 63 players forced to complete their first rounds on Friday after similar weather problems, and birdied two of his last three holes to complete a 67.

The 30-year-old then carried on where he had left off with eight birdies and no bogeys in a superb 64 for a 13-under-par halfway total of 131.

“I have been playing nicely since Abu Dhabi and now I am holing a few more putts,” said Park, who won the Compaq European Grand Prix in only his second outing on the European Tour in 1999.

“Along with the birdies I had three putts that I missed from eight feet and under, so obviously I am hitting the ball nicely.

“The course suits my game. I am very good with my wedges and there are a lot of wedge shots out there. I also hit the ball straight as well and you have to hit the fairways on this course.”

Thai duo Thongchai Jaidee and Thammanoon Srirot are joint second on 12 under.

Former paratrooper Jaidee, seeking an unprecedented hat-trick of titles in this event, carded a flawless 63.

Srirot fired seven birdies in his 65 and said: “I am looking forward to the weekend rounds and hopefully challenging for the title.

Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen recorded a 63 to surge into fourth place on 133, one ahead of England’s John Bickerton and Korea’s Charlie Wi.

“Playing the last 20 holes in 11 under is pretty special,” said Kjeldsen, who was only level par after 16 holes of his opening round.

Danny Chia led the home challenge with a 67 which moved him to joint ninth on seven under. His highlight of the day was a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-five 10th.

“I didn’t start well as I came out this morning and bogeyed my remaining hole,” Chia said.

“It was irritating but I was fortunate to get an eagle on my first hole of the round on 10. After that, I was hitting it all over the place but thanks to my short game, I finished two under on the front nine.”

Malaysia’s national amateur champion S.Sivachandran learnt a harsh lesson when he was disqualified after missing his second round tee time.

Sivachandran completed an opening 67 earlier in the day but lost track of the time and arrived 10 minutes past his 10.20am start time.

David Higgins and Gary Murphy are best placed of the Irish, joint 14th at six under. Padraig Harrington is at four under. Northern Irishman Michael Hoey is at three over.

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