“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.