American Johannes Veerman took advantage of his brilliant form to sign for a five-under-par 65 and extend his lead at the halfway stage of the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation.
The 26-year-old Veerman leads by one shot on a 13-under-par 127 total over defending champion Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand and Miguel Tabuena of Philippines, who carded matching 63s to share second place at the US$500,000 event staged at Legacy Golf Club.
Veerman, chasing a breakthrough victory on the Asian Tour since coming through Qualifying School in 2016, set the tone early in the round when he drilled in a 30-footer for birdie on the first hole.
The 2016 Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit winner returned with a bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies to stay atop the leaderboard at the event hosted by Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee.
“Sometimes you can come off a good round and wonder if it’s still there today,” Veerman said.
“I saw those guys from the morning session on top and it just gave me something to shoot for. My aim coming into today was to shoot around five or six under so I did achieve that.”
RIGHT: Veerman leads by one shot over Janewattananond at the Queen’s Cup. PHOTO: Stuart Franklin.
One-time Asian Tour winner Tabuena, who is on a mission to end a three-year title drought on the region’s premier Tour, stayed bogey-free through 36 holes to trail by one shot with Jazz on 128.
The Thai, who is looking to become the first player in the tournament history to successfully defend the Queen’s Cup title, traded nine birdies against two bogeys to put himself in prime position for a weekend charge.
India's Amardip Malik was thrilled to sign for a 65, which marked his career-best score outside the country, to take fourth place on his own at the 11th edition of the Queen's Cup.
Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant posted a 67 to lurk five shots off the pace in tied-fifth with countrymen Natipong Srithong (66), Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (62) and Peradol Panyathanasedh (65).
A total of 75 players made the halfway cut set at one-under-par 139.
Andrew Dodt is the leading Australian, shooting rounds of 69 and 67 to share 32nd place.