Pre-tournament favourite Ervin Chang extended his lead by four strokes when he charged to a six-under 66 in the second round of the Mirai Cup at the Sarawak Golf Club today. However, the day belonged to Shahriffuddin Ariffin who burned the course with a scintillating seven-under 65.

Ervin made short work of the outward nine, shooting a 30 through six birdies. However, he dropped two strokes with back-to-back bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes but immediately regained his composure with two birdies on the 12th and 13th holes.

“After my first nine, I was thinking of more birdies,” said Ervin. “On the 10th I hit a good drive but my approach wedge spun the ball off the green and I couldn’t save par. On the next hole I had a wayward drive and didn’t have a look at the green. Overall, I struck the ball well and I’m happy to be in this position.”

Joining Ervin, the 2022 Sea Games double gold medallist, will be Shahriffuddin and Paul San in the last flight tomorrow, the final day of this Toyota Tour event, presented by UMW Toyota Motor. The competition among these three can be likened to the ‘Battle of the Young Guns’.

Shahriffuddin, better know as ‘Dino’ among the professionals, was happy with his game and was looking forward to battling it out with Ervin. The last time they played in the same flight was in a PGM event in Glenmarie GCC last year. Shahriffuddin came out on top by one stroke.

Shahriffuddin Ariffin teeing off during day two of Mirai Cup
Shahriffuddin Ariffin teeing off during day two of Mirai Cup

“Yes I’m very satisfied with my overall game,” said Shahriffuddin. “My drives were much better than on Tuesday and obviously the putter worked. After five birdies in the first nine I felt I had it in me to make more. But the weather got hotter and I could manage only two more.”

Paul is tied for third position at 2-under 142 with veteran Khor Kheng Wai and Galven Green. But because he had a lower score today than Khor and Galven, he is being grouped with Shahriffuddin and Ervin.

The cut was set at 18-over which allowed 52 players to tee-off tomorrow’s final round. Seven amateurs also made the cut with Nor Haqeim Hadi the leading contender for Best Amateur at eight-over. One stroke behind him is 14-year-old Joshua Lim who carded a two-over 74 today.

The Mirai Cup is the second event on the Toyota Tour. The next leg will be the Hilux Cup at the Sabah Golf & Country Club from May 16-18. The Tour comprises 10 tournaments and two Qualifying Schools. The final event – the Toyota Tour Championship is sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour and will be played at Saujana GCC in November.

Round Two Scores (Top 10 and Ties)
134 (-10) – Ervin Chang 68-66
138 (-6) – Shahriffuddin Ariffin 73-65
142 (-2) – Paul San 72-70, Khor Kheng Wai 70-72, Galven Green 70-72
144 (Even) R. Nachimuthu 72-72, Lee Chong Li 70-74
145 (+1) Daeng Abdul Rahman 72-73, Kenneth De Silva 71-74
146 (+2) Danial Faidz 74-72

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