Chan has every reason to smile as pulls ahead
A smile is never far from the face of Taiwanese Chan Yih-shin and his positive attitude paid off yesterday as he shot a second-round 67 to take a one-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Macau Open.
Yesterday the 35-year-old's smiles were wider than ever after grabbing sole ownership of the lead at the US$750,000 tournament.
'Well, I'm leading at the moment so that is good reason for me to keep smiling. I think anyone would be smiling if they were in my position too,' said Chan after taking a one-shot lead from Finn Joonas Granberg.
Helped by an eagle on the par-five 502-yard second hole at the Macau Golf and Country Club - his second in as many days having holed for an eagle at the 18th hole in the first round - Chan returned home early with the clubhouse lead in his pocket.
At the end of the day he was on top of the leaderboard for the second successive day. Chan had shared the honours on the opening day with his five-under-par 66 tying him in first place alongside American Anthony Kang, Englishman Nick Redfern and Swede Rikard Karlberg. But he left them behind thanks to an eagle midway through his back nine.
'I used a seven iron from 198 yards and it landed nine feet from the pin,' smiled Chan happily. He traded four birdies with two bogeys to finish four under for the day and aggregate nine-under 133.
'I haven't played well this year, and been really struggling with my putting. But my confidence is back after shooting some amazing shots in the last two days,' said Chan who has only one career title on the Asian Tour.
Granberg, buoyed by a course record-equalling score of nine-under 62, catapulted up the leaderboard after a first round of 72.
'I didn't make any putts on the first day and that's the big difference,' said Granberg who finished his flawless round, which included seven birdies, with an eagle at the last hole.
'It was normal but good solid golf. I missed only one green all day,' said Granberg. 'The next two days are going to be tough and what matters is how you perform on the last day.'
Karlberg was in third place behind the leaders, two shots off the pace and had to be thankful for an eagle at the last hole which enabled him to finish on 69 and total seven-under 135.
Jeev Milka Singh of India, Australian Adam Groom and Thai Thanyakon Khrongpha were tied in fourth place on six-under 136. Defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant played with a numb left hand and through the pain barrier to hit 67 and move into four-under, four shots adrift of Chan.
'My left hand was numb from wrist to thumb. I don't know what happened. I woke up and it was numb and I could barely grip the club. I told myself to play through the pain and I had a solid round with no bogeys. I'm confident I will do well in the next two days,' Wiratchant said.