Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, December 25: Local young gun Rattanon Wannasrichan shot a stunning career low 10-under-par 61 to snatch the halfway lead at the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) season-ending Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Friday.
The 20-year-old Thai produced a brilliant performance by sinking one eagle and eight birdies against no bogeys for a 15-under-par 127 total at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club, located at the outskirts of Bangkok.
Countrymen Itthipat Buranatanyarat and Danthai Boonma came home in matching 64s to lie two shots off the pace in second place while veteran Thongchai Jaidee (64) shared fourth with Kwanchai Tannin (66) on 130 at the 3,000,000 Baht (approx. US$83,000) ADT event.
New father Prom Meesawat of Thailand, who welcomed his daughter earlier this month, signed for a 66 to trail by four shots in fifth place alongside compatriots Pariya Junhasavasdikul (64) and Wisut Artjanawat (67) in what is the final stop of the ADT 2015 season.
Rattanon, who claimed his maiden ADT win in Chinese Taipei earlier in August, was in full flight during his second round.
Starting from the 10th, Rattanon lit up the course by posting five birdies, which include four in a row starting from the 12th, to turn in 31. He continued his birdie blitz with another three birdies on the first, fourth and sixth holes before sinking an eagle-two on the eighth.
“I felt really comfortable out there. Everything went well for me and my game was in top form. The greens are not too hard and fast today. I managed to hit a lot of accurate shots which was very pleasing,” said Rattanon, who turned professional in 2012.
Rattanon’s outstanding effort would have set a new course record if not for the preferred lie ruling in effect. With the weekend ahead, the young Thai hopes to maintain his momentum to land another victory this year.
“I am very happy with how I played. This is my personal best round since turning professional. I am very lucky to get to play with Thongchai in the first two rounds. It has been a good experience and I learned a lot from him. I will try my best in the next two rounds,” Rattanon added.
The halfway cut was set at five-under-par 137 with a total of 54 players progressing into the final two rounds.
ADT Order of Merit leader Casey O’Toole of the United States carded a second straight 69 to agonizingly miss the halfway cut by one shot. Defending champion Phiphatphong Naewsuk of Thailand also failed to make the cut after posting a 70.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning OWGR points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
The ADT is celebrating its sixth season where it has grown immensely from five events in the first year in 2010 to a record 28 tournaments in 2015.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading second round scores
127 - Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 66-61
129 - Danthai BOONMA (THA) 65-64, Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 65-64
130 - Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 66-64, Kwanchai TANNIN (THA) 64-66
131 - Wisut ARTJANAWAT (THA) 64-67, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65-66, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 67-64
132 - Varan ISRABHAKDI (THA) 64-68, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 64-68, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 66-66, Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 68-64, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 66-66, Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 67-65, Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 66-66
133 - Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 66-67, Tawit POLTHAI (THA) 64-69, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 64-69, Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 65-68, Thummanoon KOONMARK (THA) 65-68, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 65-68
134 - Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 68-66, Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA) 68-66, Chirat JIRASUWAN (THA) 68-66, Ratchapol JANTAVARA (THA) 69-65, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 68-66, Gyeongjun LEE (KOR) 65-69
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.