Tampines, Singapore (SportsNetwork.com) - Panuphol Pittayarat carded a 4-under 68 on Friday to remain on top of the leaderboard of The Championship at Laguna National.
Pittayarat, who is winless on both the European Tour and co-sanctioning Asian Tour, finished 36 holes at Laguna National Golf & Country Club at 13-under-par 131.
Scott Hend fired the low round of the day with a 7-under 65 to vault into a share of second place with Felipe Aguilar (67) and David Lipsky (68) at 12- under 132.
"Two more rounds to go and we will see what happens," said Hend. "I have to keep pushing on. There is no stopping for me. You can't stop, there are too many good players out there."
Anders Hansen (66), Rahil Gangjee (67) and Seuk-Hyun Baek (67) are tied for fifth at minus-11, while Arnond Vongvanij (69) and Kristoffer Broberg (69) shared eighth at 10-under.
Pittayarat started on the back nine and opened his round with a birdie at the 10th. After parring his next four holes, he rolled in another birdie at the 15th to move to 11-under.
He traded a birdie at the first with a bogey at the second to remain there before ending his day with gains at the seventh and eighth to maintain his one-stroke lead heading into the weekend.
Hend had teed off earlier and raced out of the gate with birdies at the 10th and 11th. He stayed hot with birdies at the 13th and 15th around a bogey at the 14th to reach 8-under at the turn.
He then cruised through his inward nine with birdies at the first, second, fifth and eighth to claim the clubhouse lead prior to being surpassed by Pittayarat later in the day.
Lipsky recorded four birdies during his bogey-free round to join Hend at 12- under, while Aguilar countered a pair of bogeys with seven birdies to earn his share of second place.
"Tomorrow the tournament starts on moving day. You need to stay cool and patient here," Aguilar said.
NOTES: The first round was suspended on Thursday due to darkness and completed on Friday ... Hend won three times on the Asian Tour last season ... The cut line fell at 4-under-par 140, with 72 players advancing to the weekend.