First time Asia visitor Crane ties Thai’s Junhasavasdikul for CIMB Asia Pacific Classic lead
SELANGOR, Malaysia - American Ben Crane, make his first-ever Asia visit, shot the low round of the day, 64, to grab a share of the second round lead Friday at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic.
He is tied with Thai golfer Pariya Junhasavasdikul, an American college graduate now playing in Asia, who recorded five birdies over the last seven holes for a 65, and is level with Crane at 11-under-par 131.
They are one shot ahead of first round leader Ricky Barnes (69) and Ryan Moore (68) at the sunny and warm Mines Resort and Golf Club. Sweden’s Carl Pettersson is two shots back after a second round 68, while England’s Luke Donald, the highest ranked player in the first ever co-sponsored PGA Tour event in Asia, is three back.
“My putting is cooperating very much and my ball striking has been good,” said Junhasavasdikul who played his college golf at Purdue University in the U.S. and won his first Asia Tour event earlier this summer. “If your putting is up there, you're not far off the lead. We've been working on finding consistency in the game and that's been a reason for my form this year."
Crane, who won on the PGA Tour earlier this year in San Diego, California, said he has never played professional golf in Asia, but was enjoying his trip with his wife, Heather. "It was a fun day. I haven't really been overseas other than the British Open and we are having a great time and enjoying what Malaysia has to offer," said Crane. He got off to a fast start with a birdie on the first hole and never looked back after that for his stellar round.
Three-time major winner Ernie Els of South Africa warned his rivals he was capable of going low this weekend after ending the second round in ninth place at 135, following a second-round 68, and was four shots behind the leaders.
Second round leaders
1) Ben Crane (USA) 67-64 (131, -11)
Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 66-65
3) Ryan Moore (USA) 64-68 (132, -10)
Ricky Barnes (USA) 63-69
5) Carl Pettersson (SWE) 65-68 (133, -9)
Video - first round reminiscence: Ben Crane´s great eagle
Written by Art Stricklin
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