Thomas Pieters edges ahead at Maybank Championship

Thomas Pieters carded a second round 69 to claim a one-shot lead at the Maybank Championship on Friday.

On a day in which the Saujana Golf and Country Club was difficult to navigate unscathed, the Belgian notched only one bogey and four birdies to move to eight-under-par.

Overnight co-leader Nacho Elvira (72) set the early pace and opened up a four-shot lead after back-to-back birdies at the start of his round.

During the afternoon, the wind picked up and made iron play much more difficult. As a result, the Spaniard dropped three shots in two holes on the back nine to finish his round on seven-under, alongside Indonesia’s Danny Masrin (68)

Another stroke further back on six-under are Ernie Els (70), David Lipsky (66), Jazz Janewattananond (72), Dean Burmester (70), Paul Peterson (68), Maximilian Kieffer (67) and Lucas Herbert (69).

Pieters started the day two shots behind the leaders and fell further behind after a bogey on the second.

A birdie on the ninth propped him up and three bogeys on the back-nine – including a 12-foot putt on the 16th – moved him up to eight-under, and into the lead when Elviro dropped three shots on 14 and 15.