The Championship: Panuphol Pittayarat maintains one-shot lead at halfway stage
Last Updated: 03/05/14 9:03am
Panuphol Pittayarat: Strong finish earned him the halfway lead in Singapore
Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand finished his second round strongly to secure a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of The Championship at Laguna National on Friday.
The 21-year-old overnight leader carded a four-under-par 68 - which included two birdies in his last three holes - to post a 13-under total after 36 holes.
That left him one clear of Scott Hend of Australia (65), American David Lipsky (68) and Felipe Aguilar of Chile (67) who ended the day in a three-way tie for second.
Denmark's Anders Hansen shot a 66 to move into joint fifth at 11-under, while England's Tommy Fleetwood is also very much in contention after a 67 left him just four off the pace at nine-under.
But it is Pittayarat who continues to lead the way as he goes in search of a maiden European Tour victory - his best result on the circuit being an 18th-placed finish at last year's Hong Kong Open.
"The two birdies in my last three holes were nice to end off my round," he told reporters.
"It's nice to be putting myself in a good position heading into the last two rounds. I would rather stay up there than to be chasing the lead actually, I just want to grab my chance and not let it go."
Hend produced a total of eight birdies and just one bogey as he returned the best round of a hot and humid day in Singapore.
Second round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-13 P Pittayarat (Tha)
-12 F Aguilar (Chi)
-12 S Hend (Aus)
-12 D Lipsky (US)
-11 SH Baek (Kor)
-11 R Gangjee (Ind)
-11 A Hansen (Den)
Click here for collated scores
"I am used to this kind of weather but it still comes to a point where your body just cannot take it and it makes you lose concentration," stated the Queensland native. "I'm managing well so far. Two more rounds to go and we will see what happens."
Aguilar, playing with a wrist injury after a recent mountain biking accident, finished with three consecutive birdies to put himself firmly in the mix.
"(The wrist) doesn't bother me much, but I still have pain. It will be there for the next four or five months," said the South American.
"Everything you do is dangerous so you have to be careful, but I'm playing good golf because I'm happy, and so the mountain biking helps."
After two rounds of low scoring the cut-line eventually fell at four-under and amongst those missing out by just a single stroke were Edoardo Molinari, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thomas Levet.