Date: March 29, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Townsend on cloud nine

Young-Han Song may lead the Indonesia PGA Championship by one shot but he was overshadowed on Friday as Australian Aaron Townsend blitzed the Emeralda Golf Club course. South Korean Song, though, posted a six-under-par 66 on Friday to reach 13-under overall at the halfway mark of the OneAsia event. But Song will know there&aposs no room for any slip ups over the weekend as Japan&aposs Yoshinori Fujimoto matched his 66 to reach 12-under, level with countryman Toshinori Muto, who impressed with a seven-under 65. But it was Australian Townsend who grabbed the spotlight with a blistering nine-under 63, the bogey-free effort helping him into a share of second spot. Having sunk four birdies on the front nine and two more at 10 and 12, a dynamic finish helped Townsend to the lowest round of the day, the 31-year-old rolling in three consecutive birdies at 16, 17 and 18. Another Australian, defending champion Andre Stolz, is one of five players tied for fifth at 10-under, alongside four Japanese players in Kaname Yokoo, Shingo Katayama, Yusaku Miyazato, Hideto Tanihara. A solid five-under 67 means Stolz is still in contention to retain his crown, while Miyazato and Yokoo both impressed with rounds of 66. A stroke further back and by no means out of contention are a group of four players tied for 10th at nine-under, with Australian Scott Strange, China&aposs Liang Wen-chong and Japanese pair Katsumasa Miyamoto and Yuta Ikeda poised to challenge during the weekend. Over in Thailand, meanwhile, Australian Matthew Stieger remains in contention to take out the Chiangmai Golf Championship as he finds himself just three strokes adrift of leader Prayad Marksaeng. Six-time Asian Tour winner Marksaeng hasn&apost tasted victory since 2007, but the veteran Thai has given himself every chance of doing so again with two impressive rounds so far as he finds himself two strokes clear at 12-under. Having posted a seven-under 65 on Thursday, Marksaeng recovered from an early bogey to finish his second day with a 67 score. Marksaeng will have to be at his best, however, to hold off a three-strong chasing pack at 10 under. Among those is another veteran Thai golfer in Thongchai Jaidee, who enjoyed the day&aposs best round as he posted a seven-under 65. Jaidee is joined at 10 under by Indian Digvijay Singh (67) and American youngster Jonathan Moore (68). Stieger is one of four players at nine under after he carded a five-under 67 on Friday to be alongside China&aposs Hu Mu, South African Bryce Easton and American Jason Knutzon. Stieger&aposs compatriot Scott Hend (69) is a further two strokes back on seven under for the tournament while Jake Higginbotham is just one behind Hend after posting a four-under 68 on Friday. Marcus Both (-5), Adam Groom (-4), Wade Ormsby (-4), Unho Park (-3), Scott Barr (-3), Sam Brazel (-2) and Matt Jager (-2) are further down the leaderboard, with the latter two appearing to have made the two-under card. Jager was one of several entrants still needing to complete their last hole, however, with the Australian needing a par or better on the 18th to secure passage into the weekend.