Surprise lead for Vietnam's Michael Tran in Asian Tour

Vietnam's Michael Tran emerged as surprise co-leader halfway through Asia's Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Thursday.

Tran was tied in the Asian Tour top spot with Thai veteran star Thaworn Wiratchant after hitting a four-under-par 68.

THe 22-year-old had contemplated quitting touring life after a lack of success on the Asian Tour, but two impressive rounds at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club may persuade him to change his mind.

After returning in the morning to finish three holes of his weather-disrupted opening round, Tran shot five birdies against a lone bogey to grab joint lead on nine-under-par 135.

No Vietnamese player has won on the Asian Tour. Thaworn, however, a 13-time winner on the region's elite circuit, will stand firmly in Tran's way.

The 45-year-old Thai birdied his last hole for a 69 as he maintained his chase for an unprecedented 14th title in the RM1.2 million ($400,000) event.

Australian Marcus Both is a stroke behind the leaders on 69, while Spanish rookie Javi Colomo also fired a 69 which included an eagle on the par four 11th hole for equal fourth place with Filipino Jhonnel Ababa.

Ababa stands on seven-under for the tournament with one hole remaining after play was suspended due to darkness. He is the only player who did not complete the second round and will return at 7.50am tomorrow to finish his last hole, according to a press release from the Asian Tour.

A delighted Tran, who has not registered a top 10 in three seasons on the Asian Tour, said: "I'm just having a walk in the park.

"I'm not thinking about anything which I've managed to do in the last 36 holes. It won't be easy to do that in the last two rounds though. But that's the game of golf, you need a bit of nerves to push you forward."

He added: "I didn't play golf for six weeks after the Queen's Cup (in June). I didn't even touch my golf clubs and golf seems like a game to me now rather than before when I treated it like a job."

Top scores after round two of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters:

135 - Michael Tran (VNM) 67-68, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 66-69

136 - Marcus Both (AUS) 67-69

137 - Javi Colomo (ESP) 68-69

138 - Kieran Pratt (AUS) 67-71, Lindsay Renolds (CAN) 68-70, Jonathan Moore (USA) 67-71

139 - Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 67-72, Jesper Kennegard (SWE) 70-69, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 68-71, Scott Hend (AUS) 70-69, Vikrant Chopra (IND) 69-70, Gavin Flint (AUS) 70-69

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