by Ronan MacNamara
Robin Dawson by Golffile
Kevin Phelan produced a courageous second round of one-under 71 to make the cut on the mark at the Singapore International on the Asian Tour.
Tramore native Robin Dawson, playing on a sponsor’s invite shot a second round of 79 as he missed the cut by a distance on fifteen-over-par.
Waterford’s Phelan was one of just eleven players to break par as tough conditions wreaked havoc on Friday morning’s scoring but it was enough for him to edge his way into the weekend on seven-over.
Phelan who earned status on the Asian Tour via the 2019 Q-School was faced with an uphill battle to make the cut when he arrived on the first tee after an opening round of eight-over 80.
Improved approach play was key as Phelan hit 14/18 greens in regulation and he opened his account for the day with a birdie two on the par-3 6th before giving it back immediately on the 7th as he turned in level-par 36.
Needing a big back nine to force his way into the third round, the 31-year-old birdied the par-5 10th before five successive pars were followed by a birdie two on the 16th.
A bogey on his penultimate hole didn’t prove fatal as he secured his passage into the weekend.
Meanwhile, at the top of the leaderboard the top-19 are separated by just eight strokes going into the final 36 holes with just five players under par.
First round leader Khalin Joshi is now two behind after a second round of 74 as Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan leads on five-under after a sublime second round 66.
A birdie on 2 was followed by a hat trick of birdies before the turn and an eagle on the 18th catapulted him to the summit with 36 to play.
“The 18th was playing downwind. My second shot was with a three wood, it was a low cut. I was just hoping for a good shot, and it finished 10 feet away. It was a little bit lucky,” said Rattanon Wannasrichan, whose sole Asian Tour victory came in the 2018 Thailand Open.
“Today I played very well. My shots were very good. I am super happy. I had one bogey and it was a three putt. Every hole was so good. This course is so difficult, very, very difficult and windy. I am super surprised because this course is so hard.”
14-year-old Thai amateur sensation Ratchanon Chantananuwat is alongside Joshi in second place on three-under after a 66 of his own.
“Yesterday I was just sick, I got heat stroke since Wednesday. I was sneezing quite a lot on the golf course, and I played 18 and went to the range for an hour and half and that was a bit too much,” he said.
“It was hot, and I always get sick if it’s too hot. I was sneezing so much and some of the holes I could barely open my eyes when I was walking. And I was so hungry as well: I had an apple, a banana, two 100plus and two chocolate bars through seven holes. But I had some medicine and slept late night and played better today.
“And it’s not just the score. I am just really happy with the way I am playing because it’s the first time I have played a course this hard.”
Paul Peterson and Angelo Que are four off the pace on one-under while Jazz Janewattanond is a shot further back.
Current Order of Merit leader, Wade Ormsby is still in the mix on two-over in 10th place but has opted out of playing in the season-ending SMBC Singapore Open so a big weekend is needed from the Aussie if he is to take the crown.