Jazz improves in second round at CIMB
Marathon man Jazz, Poom in 15th place
>> KUALA LUMPUR: American Pat Perez returned to the course with a hot putter after a lengthy delay due to a storm, carding a seven-under-par 65 to claim a one-stroke lead in the second round of the US$7 million (approximately 231 million baht) CIMB Classic yesterday.
The 41-year-old was one under when he made the turn but then scorched the course by picking up six birdies on his final eight holes to end with a two-day total of 131 at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Fellow American Xander Schauffele, who started a shot behind overnight leader Cameron Smith of Australia, carded a 67 to sit a shot behind Perez.
“I didn’t think I really played that well. I got off to a slow start, we had the break obviously and just went out, and I like the front, I play better on the front,” Perez said.
“Just made some decent shots and I putted pretty well today. My short game was good so that saved me.”
The event, co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour, features a smaller than usual field and there is no cut with the 78 players scheduled to complete all four rounds.
Players were taken off the course during the second round due to the threat of lightning, which caused a delay of close to four hours.
Overnight leader Smith struggled during his second round of 71 and slipped down to a share of third spot with South Korean Sung Kang (68) and Belgian Thomas Pieters (67).
World No.3 Hideki Matsuyama, who was in the same group as Perez, shot a 68 and was tied for eighth after starting his round with two birdies in three holes.
American Justin Thomas, who has won the tournament for the last two years with a combined score of 49 under, was tied for 33rd after following up his opening round of 70 with a 71.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond made an improvement from his opening round by firing a 69 to grab a share of 15th place.
With rain suspension lasting for more than three hours, Jazz was visibly tired after spending almost 12 hours at the event.
The Thai overcame fatigue and took advantage of the cooler conditions before marking his card with four birdies and one bogey for a twoday total of 139.
Compatriot Poom Saksansin had a round to forget as he returned with a 74 to slip from an overnight tied-second place to tied-15th at the Malaysian showpiece.
Jazz said: “The standard is very high on the PGA Tour. My score’s OK but I’m still far off the lead. So I’ll just try and play my best tomorrow. It’s definitely an improvement from yesterday. But I left a lot of putts out there that should have gone in, but still happy with my round.
“It was a very long day. I woke up like 5.30 this morning and now it’s 5.30 again, so that’s like 12 hours on the course. We are playing in Asia and we should expect such conditions which might give some Asian players a slight advantage.”
LEADING SECOND ROUND SCORES
131 — Pat Perez (USA) 66-65
132 — Xander Schauffele (USA) 65-67
135 — Kang Sung (KOR) 67-68, Cameron Smith (AUS) 64-71, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 68-67 136 — Keegan Bradley (USA) 65-71
138 — Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-68
139 — Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 70-69, Poom Saksansin (THA) 65-74
Pat Perez plays a shot in the second round of the CIMB Classic at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.