Maybank Championship - R2

Pieters makes his move in Malaysia

March 21-24
Saujana Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
$3,000,000
Co-sanction: Asian Tour
Live leaderboard
Round 1, Round 3, Round 4


Thomas Pieters will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Maybank Championship after the golf course showed its teeth on Friday.

Pieters makes his move in Malaysia, © Getty Images

© Getty Images


The big-hitting Belgian carded four birdies and a single bogey in his second round at Saujana Golf and Country Club to move to eight under par.

“I struggled off the tee early on, at the end it was a lot better. It didn’t feel like a good day to me, I made the best of what I had. I gave myself a lot of chances but I couldn’t seem to get the ball in the hole.

“I birdied 16, the par three, it was a nice putt. But other than that I felt like I was missing putts all over. I tried not to over read the putt on 16. When you miss a couple of putts you try to read to much into it. I just put it down, looked once, and gave it a go.”

It had seemed Pieters and his fellow challengers might be fighting for second rather than top spot when overnight co-leader Nacho Elvira opened up a four-stroke lead over the chasing pack early in the afternoon.

But as the wind picked up, the Spaniard dropped three shots in two holes on the back nine to slip to seven under par, where he sits alongside Indonesia’s Danny Masrin in a tie for second place.

“I still feel like I’m playing solid,” said Elvira. “I struggled a bit on 14, I three putted on 13. I had a really easy birdie chance then I three putted. 14 is a really tough hole, everybody knows it. The pin was tucked, I had a hard chip, anyway, double there and then three putted the next hole.

“Overall I’m happy. I’m hitting the ball fine, I’m putting myself in position to find the pins and I’m looking forward to the weekend.

“The tee shots feel like a dream. To be honest I’m picking up a little bit of confidence as the season goes on. I’m happy the way I’m hitting it right now.”

It’s a first appearance at this event – which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour – for four-time Major winner Ernie Els, and after a second round 70 he sits at six under par alongside fellow South African Dean Burmester, American pair David Lipsky and Paul Peterson, Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer and Australian Lucas Herbert.

“I think scoring conditions are a bit tougher than last year,” said Els. “I’ve never played here before but from what I’ve heard the guys usually make a lot of birdies. With the new greens the ball is releasing a bit and I kind of like that. 

“The last four years have been a real struggle, so I’m really happy that I’m playing good golf again. My body feels good and the ball striking is there now. On the greens I’m starting to feel really comfortable, so that means I can have a chance again to play with these guys. That’s what I want, to feel like I can have a chance playing Saturdays and Sundays and that’s kind of my goal.

“I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing and eliminate the little mistakes. The one on 17 wasn’t very good. Got to try to get into the 60s and if you’re within three or four going into Sunday you’ve got a chance. Shubhankar showed that last year, coming out of the pack and winning.”


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-8
67
69
136
T2
Daniel James Masrin
INA
-7
69
68
137
T2
Nacho Elvira
ESP
-7
65
72
137
T4
Lucas Herbert
AUS
-6
69
69
138
T4
Paul Peterson
USA
-6
70
68
138
T4
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
-6
71
67
138
T4
Ernie Els
RSA
-6
68
70
138
T4
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
-6
66
72
138
T4
David Lipsky
USA
-6
72
66
138
T4
Dean Burmester
RSA
-6
68
70
138
T11
Masahiro Kawamura
JPN
-5
69
70
139
T11
Prom Meesawat
THA
-5
68
71
139
T11
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
-5
71
68
139
T11
Zach Murray
AUS
-5
68
71
139
T11
Scott Hend
AUS
-5
69
70
139
T11
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
-5
71
68
139
T17
Louis De Jager
RSA
-4
71
69
140
T17
Julian Suri
USA
-4
69
71
140
T17
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-4
71
69
140
T17
Andrea Pavan
ITA
-4
69
71
140
T17
Oliver Fisher
ENG
-4
70
70
140
T22
Mohammad Siddikur Rahman
BAN
-3
70
71
141
T22
Nicholas Fung
MAL
-3
68
73
141
T22
Kurt Kitayama
USA
-3
70
71
141
T22
Pavit Tangkamolprasert
THA
-3
72
69
141
T22
Johannes Veerman
USA
-3
72
69
141
T22
Matthias Schwab
AUT
-3
66
75
141
T22
Thomas Detry
BEL
-3
70
71
141
T22
Darren Fichardt
RSA
-3
76
65
141
T30
Jordan Smith
ENG
-2
74
68
142
T30
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-2
72
70
142
T30
Scott Vincent
ZWE
-2
70
72
142
T30
Chris Paisley
ENG
-2
71
71
142
T30
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
-2
73
69
142
T30
Ricardo Melo Gouveia
POR
-2
69
73
142
T30
Viraj Madappa
IND
-2
70
72
142
T30
Marcus Fraser
AUS
-2
65
77
142
T30
Poom Saksansin
THA
-2
68
74
142
T30
Shaun Norris
RSA
-2
71
71
142
T30
Brandon Stone
RSA
-2
68
74
142
T30
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
-2
69
73
142
T30
Kristoffer Broberg
SWE
-2
72
70
142
T43
Matthew Southgate
ENG
-1
74
69
143
T43
Ross Fisher
ENG
-1
72
71
143
T43
Padraig Harrington
IRL
-1
70
73
143
T43
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
-1
69
74
143
T43
Lee Slattery
ENG
-1
72
71
143
T43
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-1
70
73
143
T43
Gaganjeet Bhullar
IND
-1
68
75
143
T43
Thongchai Jaidee
THA
-1
72
71
143
T43
George Coetzee
RSA
-1
72
71
143
T43
Shiv Chawrasia
IND
-1
69
74
143
T43
Wen-Tang Lin
TPE
-1
73
70
143
T43
Angelo Que
PHL
-1
66
77
143
T55
Robert Rock
ENG
Par
73
71
144
T55
Micah Shin
USA
Par
74
70
144
T55
Hyun-Woo Ryu
KOR
Par
74
70
144
T55
Terry Pilkadaris
AUS
Par
69
75
144
T55
Gavin Green
MAS
Par
74
70
144
T55
David Law
SCO
Par
73
71
144
T55
Robert Karlsson
SWE
Par
71
73
144
T55
Jarin Todd
USA
Par
73
71
144
T55
Fabrizio Zanotti
PAR
Par
72
72
144
T55
Ajeetesh Sandhu
IND
Par
72
72
144
T55
Min-Woo Lee
AUS
Par
73
71
144
T55
Richard McEvoy
ENG
Par
70
74
144
T55
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
Par
70
74
144
T55
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
Par
72
72
144
T55
Ashun Wu
CHI
Par
71
73
144
T55
Ryan Fox
NZL
Par
71
73
144
T55
Seenappa Chikkarangappa
IND
Par
75
69
144
T55
Keith Horne
RSA
Par
71
73
144
T55
Min-Chel Choi
KOR
Par
71
73
144
T55
Renato Paratore
ITA
Par
73
71
144
CUT
Berry Henson
USA
1
74
71
145
CUT
Chapchai Nirat
THA
1
74
71
145
CUT
Chris Wood
ENG
1
71
74
145
CUT
Danny Chia
MAL
1
72
73
145
CUT
Danthai Boonma
THA
1
71
74
145
CUT
Jake Higginbottom
AUS
1
71
74
145
CUT
Jens Dantorp
SWE
1
71
74
145
CUT
Jesse Yap
SIN
1
74
71
145
CUT
Khalin Joshi
IND
1
73
72
145
CUT
Panuphol Pittayarat
THA
1
75
70
145
CUT
Ryo Ishikawa
JPN
1
71
74
145
CUT
Sang-Hyun Park
KOR
1
70
75
145
CUT
Soren Kjeldsen
DEN
1
75
70
145
CUT
Aaron Rai
ENG
2
72
74
146
CUT
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
2
73
73
146
CUT
Alvaro Quiros
ESP
2
71
75
146
CUT
Arie Irawan
MAL
2
76
70
146
CUT
Edoardo Molinari
ITA
2
73
73
146
CUT
Prayad Marksaeng
THA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Robin Roussel
FRA
2
71
75
146
CUT
Sihwan Kim
KOR
2
70
76
146
CUT
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
2
74
72
146
CUT
Travis Smyth
AUS
2
70
76
146
CUT
Yi-Keun Chang
KOR
2
72
74
146
CUT
Adilson Da Silva
BRA
3
72
75
147
CUT
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
3
73
74
147
CUT
Arjun Atwal
IND
3
73
74
147
CUT
Ben Campbell
AUS
3
75
72
147
CUT
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
3
71
76
147
CUT
Jeung-Hun Wang
KOR
3
73
74
147
CUT
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
3
70
77
147
CUT
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
3
73
74
147
CUT
Shariffudin Ariffin
MAS
3
71
76
147
CUT
Shinichi Mizuno
HKG
3
73
74
147
CUT
Steven Brown
ENG
3
75
72
147
CUT
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
3
73
74
147
CUT
Wade Ormsby
AUS
3
75
72
147
CUT
Yuki Inamori
JPN
3
74
73
147
CUT
Adria Arnaus
ESP
4
80
68
148
CUT
Ashley Chesters
ENG
4
72
76
148
CUT
Ben Leong
MAL
4
74
74
148
CUT
Daisuke Kataoka
JPN
4
73
75
148
CUT
David Howell
ENG
4
74
74
148
CUT
Jason Scrivener
AUS
4
73
75
148
CUT
Jbe Kruger
RSA
4
74
74
148
CUT
John Catlin
USA
4
74
74
148
CUT
Miguel Angel Jimenez
ESP
4
75
73
148
CUT
Rahil Gangjee
IND
4
76
72
148
CUT
Thomas Bjorn
DEN
4
73
75
148
CUT
Wei-Chih Lu
TPE
4
73
75
148
CUT
Hideto Tanihara
JPN
5
77
72
149
CUT
Ramasamy Nachimuthu
MAS
5
74
75
149
CUT
Shiv Kapur
IND
5
77
72
149
CUT
Kenneth De Silva
MAL
6
73
77
150
CUT
Malcolm Kokocinski
SWE
6
73
77
150
CUT
Mohd Sukree Othman
MAS
6
76
74
150
CUT
Phachara Khongwatmai
THA
6
72
78
150
CUT
Rattanon Wannasrichan
THA
6
74
76
150
CUT
Richard T. Lee
6
80
70
150
CUT
Suradit Yongcharoenchai
THA
6
73
77
150
CUT
Leun-Kwang Kim
MAS
7
78
73
151
CUT
Raphael Jacquelin
FRA
7
72
79
151
CUT
Romain Wattel
FRA
7
75
76
151
CUT
Yusaku Miyazato
JPN
7
71
80
151
CUT
Jacques Kruyswijk
RSA
8
74
78
152
CUT
Johnson Poh
SIN
8
75
77
152
CUT
Nino Bertasio
ITA
8
77
75
152
CUT
Wilson Choo
MAL
8
75
77
152
CUT
Jason Norris
AUS
9
75
78
153
CUT
Sam Brazel
AUS
9
74
79
153
CUT
Natipong Srithong
THA
10
77
77
154
CUT
Amir Nazrin
IND
12
80
76
156
CUT
Jake McLeod
AUS
12
81
75
156
CUT
Tirawat Kaewsirbandit
THA
12
81
75
156
CUT
Ye Htet Aung
MYA
12
75
81
156
CUT
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
13
79
78
157
CUT
Yuta Ikeda
JPN
13
81
76
157
CUT
Kemarol Baharin
MAS
15
81
78
159
CUT
Shih-Chang Chan
TPE
15
80
79
159
RET
Daniel Nisbet
AUS
Par
74
74
RET
Miguel Tabuena
PHL
Par
79
79
RET
Todd Sinnott
AUS
Par
0