Crane shares lead at halfway point of Asia Pacific Classic


SELANGOR. Malaysia – In his first trip to Malaysia, Ben Crane took advantage of solid iron play to shoot a 7-under 64, which moved him into a share of the lead after the second round of the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic.

“It was a fun day. I haven’t really been overseas other than the British Open and we are having a great time and enjoying what Malaysia has to offer,” the 34-year-old said. “I got off to a fast start. I hit a nice wedge shot to about three feet for birdie on the first hole, and that always feels good and frees you up a little bit.”

Thai golfer Pariya Junhasavasdikul had five birdies over the last seven holes Friday for a 6-under 65. He shares the 36-hole lead with Crane at 131.

Pariya, a business management graduate of Purdue and licensed pilot, is at 11-under 131 overall. Ben Crane, a three-time PGA Tour winner, is tied for first after a 64 at the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Southeast Asia.

“My putting is cooperating very much and my ball striking has been good,” the 26-year-old Pariya said at the Mines Resort and Golf Club. “We’ve been working on finding consistency in the game and that’s been a reason for my form this year.”

The 40-man tournament is also sanctioned by the Asian Tour. The winner receives $1 million from the $6 million purse.

Overnight leader Ricky Barnes (69) and Ryan Moore (68) were both a stroke back, followed by Carl Pettersson (68) in fifth place.