The Golf Championship : Panuphol stays ahead at Laguna


SINGAPORE: Thailand's Panuphol 'coconut' Pittayarat stayed ice cool on a searing hot day to maintain his one-shot lead at the top of The Championship leaderboard on Friday after a second round four-under-par 68. The 21-year-old closed his round with a long birdie putt for a two-round total of 13-under 131 to stay ahead of Australian Scott Hend (65), American David Lipsky (68) and Felipe Aguilar (67) of Chile at the $1.5 million European and Asian Tour event. It was the first cut Panuphol, given the nickname coconut by his father who is also his caddie, has made in four events this season on the Asian Tour.sssPlaying the course the wrong way around, he opened with a birdie on the 10th as he began clawing back his position at the top of the leaderboard which early starters Hend and Aguilar had taken. Birdies at the Thai's sixth and 10th holes left him level at the top on 12-under alongside playing partner Lipsky before he dropped his first shot of the week at the par-five second. But late birdies on 16 and 18 put him back in front, although Hend and Aguilar were happy to have put themselves back in position to challenge on the weekend, when all will hope for cooler temperatures than the 34 Celsius on Friday with high humidity. 

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Aaj Kal