James Byrne five clear in Malaysia

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BANCHORY’S James Byrne is on course for a second victory of the season on the Asian Development Tour after opening up a five-stroke lead with two rounds to go in the Langkawi Masters in Malaysia.

Bidding for his third success overall in the paid ranks – he won the Northern Open at Meldrum House last year before claiming the Rahman Putra Masters on an earlier visit to Malaysia this season – Byrne followed up an opening 64 with an equally impressive 65.

Over two days at the Gunung Raya Golf Resort, the big-hitting 23-year-old has bagged an impressive 17 birdies but, even with a handy lead over Canadian Lindsay Reynolds, Byrne is taking nothing for granted over the final two rounds. “I’m just focusing and playing one shot at a time,” insisted the former Walker Cup player, who is competing on the Asian Tour for the second successive season and also has a card for the 
Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

“I think my scores reflect how focussed and relaxed I’m. When you are not playing well, you tend to get stressed out and anxious. Being stress-free is definitely the key to why I’ve been playing so well.”

The Scot struggled off the tee in his second round but made amends with a hot putter. “It was a bad ball-striking day and I missed a lot of fairways, but I putted really well,” he added. “Evidently you can make a lot of birdies and if I stay in the process then I think I can hit another couple of low rounds.”