Barr keeps faith by holding clubhouse lead at World Classic Championship

Scott Barr of AustraliaSingapore: Australia’s Scott Barr kept the faith in himself by carding an even-par 71 to take the second round clubhouse lead at the inaugural World Classic Championship at Laguna National on Friday.

Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung went out with all guns blazing by firing a 67 to stay a single shot back of Barr while Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil and Natipong Srithong are on three-under through 12 and 11 holes respectively before play was suspended at 6.47pm due to darkness.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman also returned home safely with matching 71s.

Play was suspended for over two hours due to thunderstorms in the afternoon and could not be completed due to fading light.

A total of 66 players will now have to return on Saturday morning to finish their second round at the inaugural US$750,000 Asian Tour event.

Barr, who is chasing his breakthrough victory on the Asian Tour, lacked many birdies opportunities on a day where he could only make 30 putts.

But while he was left to rue those missed chances, the Singapore-based Australian made up for it by playing cautiously and relying on his local knowledge of the course.

“I didn’t hole as many putts for birdies as I did yesterday but I didn’t make too many mistakes out there. I just couldn’t get it close enough to make the putts.

“If you’re in trouble, just try to make a bogey. You just play for a bogey and not try to risk it. I just want to keep trusting myself and my game,” said the 43-year-old, who marked his card with two bogeys and two birdies to sign for a two-day total of two-under-par 149.

Meanwhile Fung was thrilled to put himself in contention after signing for a scintillating 67 at the challenging World Classic Course which is known for its treacherous slopes and tricky greens.

“It’s fantastic to shoot a 67 on this course. I have no complaints even though I missed a couple of short putts. I hit the ball really good today. I only missed one fairway. I have played this course before so I guess it’s a bit of an advantage for me.

“For some holes out there, making bogey is actually very good already. You just have to try not to make anything worse than that and you should be safe,” said the Malaysian.

Jazz was staring at the prospect of returning with a very high score after chalking up five bogeys in his opening six holes.

The Thai, however managed to stage a remarkable comeback by firing four birdies in his inward-nine to return with a 71.

“To be able to fight back to even par on this kind of golf course is just brilliant. When I stumbled at the start, I told myself I need to make a comeback on my back nine which I did.

“It’s really important to stay patient out there. If I were to lose my head after that setback, I would have finished worse than this,” said Jazz.

Completed leading scores after round 2 of the World Classic Championship being played at the par 71, 6935 Yards Laguna National GcC course (am - denotes amateur):

140 - Scott BARR (AUS) 69-71.

141 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 74-67.

142 - Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 71-71, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-71, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-71.

143 - Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 70-73.

144 - Josh YOUNGER (AUS) 73-71, Rashid KHAN (IND) 75-69, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 76-68.

145 - Chan KIM (USA) 77-68, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 76-69, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 72-73, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 74-71, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 74-71, George GANDRANATA (INA) 74-71, Niclas JOHANSSON (SWE) 71-74.

146 - Chikka S. (IND) 76-70, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 72-74, Abhijit CHADHA (IND) 72-74.

147 - Peter EROFEJEFF (FIN) 75-72, Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 73-74, LU Wei-chih (TPE) 74-73, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 79-68, Seukhyun BAEK (KOR) 74-73, Bongsub KIM (KOR) 76-71.