There was a major shuffle in the ranks as many familiar names moved into the leading positions yesterday.
After poor scores on the first day of the $30,000 Cocoa Trees/SPGA Presidents's Cup on Tuesday, the recognised professionals such as Quincy Quek (68), Unho Park (68), Zaw Moe (68), Scott Barr (69) and Lam Zhiqun (70) posted sub-par rounds to move into the top-10 slots.
But at Warren Golf and Country Club yesterday, the almost-forgotten golfer, Goh Kun Yang, was the main talking point.
He shot to the fore to share the lead with Koh Dengshan (69) with a sensational 5-under 66 as 35 players made the cut to go into today's final round.
Goh, 26, who had a stellar amateur career, had struggled in the pro ranks.
Based in Thailand for a couple of years, he was almost a nonentity.
On his return to Singapore, he suffered from a series of missed cuts in the Asian Development and ASEAN Tours, and Qualifying Schools.
Disillusioned, he took two years off golf, taught at the Phil Brew Academy and got married last month.
But yesterday, Goh was a different man, a shining star who bagged eight birdies and rued three bogeys.
He was on fire when he teed off from the 10th tee, firing birdies on his first two holes.
He continued his brilliant form and posted four more birdies to be six under after nine holes.
"I just couldn't believe it. Everything I did went right. I suppose I was lucky," said Goh.
But on the back nine, he dropped two shots with bogeys on the second and fifth holes.
"I drove into the pond on the second, and my good drive on the fifth found a crappy lie," bemoaned Goh.
But he bounced back with birdies on the seventh and eight, and again suffered misfortune on the par-four ninth.
"I was left with a nine-iron approach, but I eased up to the right side of the green. I chipped to three feet, but missed the easy putt," said Goh, who is on four-under 138.
Joint-overnight leader Koh played a steady 69 to share the lead, but Chang Ren Chiat fell two shots back to third despite a decent a 71.
A stroke further back are Quek and Mardan Mamat (71) on 141.
Choo Tze Huang, who held the joint-lead on Tuesday after a 69, fell out of the top 10 positions with a disappointing 76.
Dino Kwek, a former Putra Cup player, moved to the top among the seniors with a 71, three shots ahead of Bill Fung (72).
In the amateur section, Indian Samarth Dwivedi used his experience of playing top golf with the pros while based in Thailand to shoot 74 to take the perch on 150, five shots ahead of overnight leader Donovan Lee.
This article was first published on October 30, 2014.
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