Manila, November 10: Philippines’ young talent Justin Quiban showed glimpse of his potential by firing a six-under-par 66 to take a share of the second round lead with Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij and Phachara Khongwatmai at the Resorts World Manila Masters on Friday.
The 21-year-old was the surprise package after he sprung into early contention by sitting atop the leaderboard with the Thai duo with his two-day total of 12-under-par 132 at the US$1 million event, which is also the richest golf tournament in the Philippines.
Quiban set the stage alight when he went on a five-hole birdie blitz starting from the par-five 15. The Filipino then opened up a two-shot lead with further birdies on holes four and six. But was denied the outright lead after he bogeyed his last two holes coming home.
Arnond’s modified swing change paid off after he signed for a 67 while Phachara continued to sharpen his short game by returning with a 65 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
India’s Jyoti Randhawa made one of the biggest moves by carding a flawless 64 to move up the leaderboard to share fourth place with five players that include defending champion S.S.P. Chawrasia and 2015 winner Natipong Srithong.
The other sponsors of the Resorts World Manila Masters Presented by Philippine Department of Tourism include Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club (Host venue), Marriott (Hotel Partner) Konami, Scientific Games, Aristocrat, Levelwear, IGT Asia Pte Ldt, Empire Automation, VYCON RGD LTD, PLDT Enterprise, Ecco Golf and Dalmore.
Did you know?
- Quiban is making his second appearance at the Resorts World Manila Masters. He missed the cut last year and came through the local qualifier to be in the field this week.
- The 21-year-old Quiban is playing on his home course at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
- Phachara needed only 25 putts around the greens in his round of 65. He missed only three out of 14 fairways and he hit a total of 14 greens in regulation.
- Phachara has two runner-up finishes on the Asian Tour this season. He sits in seventh place on the current Order of Merit.
- The 18-year-old Phachara made his second appearance at The Open earlier in July after earning his spot at the SMB Singapore Open in January, where he finished tied-second.
- Phachara enjoyed a tied-13th place finish at the 2016 Resorts World Manila Masters. He is playing in his third attempt in the Manila showpiece this week.
- Phachara came into prominence when he won the 2015 PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship to become the youngest Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner at the age of 15.
- At 14, Phachara won as an amateur to become the youngest player to win a professional tournament in the world.
- Arnond turned professional in 2011 and claimed his first Asian Tour win in 2012. He regained his card for the 2017 season after coming through the Qualifying School.
- Arnond is nicknamed ‘Bank’ because he was born the night after his mother took her final examinations for her Masters degree in financial banking.
- Arnond endured six consecutive missed cuts in the first half of the season but is slowly regaining form, having made the cuts in his last four starts on Tour. He sits in 127th position on the Order of Merit.
Justin Quiban (Phi) – Second Round 66 (-6), Total 132 (-12)
It was pretty slow at the start. I started off the back nine. I had my first birdie on 13 and then I had five straight birdies from the 15 which was great. Unfortunately, I dropped two shots on my last two holes but overall, it was good. I putted really well. I have been putting good since yesterday. This is my home course so I am pretty familiar with the layout. I think it’s an advantage for me. I will stick to the same game plan for the next two rounds. It was exciting out there. I didn’t really feel any pressure out there. The conditions were pretty much the same as yesterday I think. The birdie on the 18 felt good because I knew if I were to birdie that hole, I will be tied for the lead. I chipped it to about two feet and made the putt for birdie.
I felt really confident after that. I am happy to be in a share of lead in such a big event. I am excited about the next two rounds. We will see how it goes.
Arnond Vongvanij (Tha) Second round 67 (-5) Total 132 (-12)
I’m absolutely happy with how I’ve been playing the last two days. The conditions were really tough yesterday but I managed to play well. I was able to keep the momentum going again today. I believe I can continue this good form as I’ve been hitting the ball really these past couple of days. I’ll try to keep doing the same thing. I’ve been playing a lot better the last few months. I understand how I swing the ball better now as I had a big swing change the last couple of years and it’s coming together nicely now. I just have to keep playing against the course and do what I’ve been doing. That way, whatever the other guys are doing wouldn’t matter much.
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) Second round 65 (-7) Total 132 (-12)
My short game is very good this week. All my birdies were made from inside five-feet today. Whenever I made a mistake, I was about to recover well and that was important. I putted well. Actually I didn’t expect myself to playing this well as I was hitting the ball all over the place during my practice round. But when the tournament started, it was so different. I’m not thinking too far ahead and I just want to play like how I’ve done the last two days.
Natipong Srithong (Tha) Second round 67 (-5), Total 134 (-10)
My goal was to shoot four-under everyday but I’ve surpassed that with my five-under-par scores for both days. So I’m really pleased with myself as I’ve exceeded those expectations. The course is quite wet from the rain but my plan is still to hit the fairways and greens for my birdie chances. I made several nice birdies today. On 18, I managed to get onto the green in two and two-putted for a birdie there. I’ve been very sharp especially with my four-iron and that helped in getting a good score today.
Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 64 (-8), Total 134 (-10)
I didn’t drop any shots today which is always nice. I putted well and I took advantage of my birdie chances. The course was much softer, calmer and playing much longer. It was a scoring day with soft greens and fairways and you can attack the pins. I’m feeling good and I’ve figured out what I need to do for the weekend. If I can maintain what I’ve been doing, it should be a good week for me.
Miguel Tabuena (Phi) Second round 69 (-3), Total 137 (-7)
I believe I could have done so much better as I didn’t take advantage of the calmer weather conditions in the morning. But there’s still plenty of golf left and I’m confident of catching up. Manila Southwoods is my home course and I have a big advantage over the rest. I know what it takes to have a good score and to win. Probably 17 or 18-under would be the winning score here and that’s what I’m working towards. I haven’t been striking the ball well and I’ve been saved by my short game. I’ve to go back to the range to work with my coach especially on my eight-irons. I missed so many greens and missed so many birdie opportunities
Gavin Green (Mas) Second round 67 (-5), Total 138 (-6)
I hit the ball a lot better off the tee today and I was not too aggressive. The par-fives got me a bit and I was really disappointed with myself as I didn’t capitalize on them with my tee shots. There’s always pressure when we compete and I just got to go out there and play the best I can.
Leading scores after round 2 of the Resorts World Manila Masters being played at the par 72, 7317 Yards Manila Southwoods GcC course (am – denotes amateur):
132 – Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 65-67, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 67-65, Justin QUIBAN (PHI) 66-66.
134 – Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 67-67, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 70-64, Jarin TODD (USA) 68-66, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 67-67, S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 66-68, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65-69.
135 – Richard T. LEE (CAN) 66-69, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 67-68, Steve LEWTON (ENG) 67-68.
136 – Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 64-72, Chanachok DEJPIRATANAMONGKOL (THA) 66-70, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 71-65, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 69-67, Danny CHIA (MAS) 68-68, Paul PETERSON (USA) 69-67, Junsung KIM (KOR) 67-69, LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 69-67.
137 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 68-69, LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 69-68, Scott BARR (AUS) 64-73, Keith HORNE (RSA) 71-66, Quincy QUEK (SIN) 69-68.
138 – Nicolas PAEZ (USA) 69-69, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 71-67, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 67-71, Yuto KATSURAGAWA (am, JPN) 68-70, Yikeun CHANG (KOR) 67-71, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 69-69.
139 – Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) 72-67, Sorachut HANSAPIBAN (THA) 74-65, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 71-68, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-68, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 69-70, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 74-65, Ryan MCCORMICK (USA) 70-69, Settee PRAKONGVECH (THA) 69-70, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 69-70, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 71-68, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 71-68, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 69-70.
140 – LU Wei-chih (TPE) 74-66, SUNG Mao-chang (TPE) 72-68, Sihwan KIM (USA) 70-70, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 70-70, Sujjan SINGH (IND) 72-68, Teemu PUTKONEN (FIN) 71-69, William HARROLD (ENG) 69-71.
141 – Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 73-68, Jay BAYRON (PHI) 72-69, Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) 71-70, Himmat RAI (IND) 72-69, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 72-69, LEE Chieh-po (TPE) 68-73, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 70-71, Thomas DETRY (BEL) 72-69, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 72-69, Jerson BALASABAS (PHI) 72-69, Zanie Boy GIALON (PHI) 74-67, Somsak KAOPRATUM (THA) 68-73, Nilo SALAHOG (PHI) 70-71.
-2 (142) was the final cut, 76 players made the cut