Panuphol seizes halfway lead #IndoOpenGolf

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Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand

Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand

Jakarta, October 27: Thai hotshot Panuphol Pittayarat put himself in position for a breakthrough win after carding a seven-under-par 65 to grab the halfway lead by two shots at the US$300,000 Indonesia Open on Friday.

The 24-year-old Panuphol, who enjoyed a joint runner-up finish last year, fired nine birdies against two bogeys to sit atop the leaderboard on 11-under-par 133 total at the Pondok Indah Golf course.

Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul returned with a 66 to take second place while countrymen Rattanon Wannasrichan (66) and Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (68) shared third with Australian Martin Andrew (65) on 136.

Panuphol, who started the round two shots back, dropped a shot on the second hole but bounced back brilliantly with four birdies to turn in 33. He picked up five more birdies on his way home, including three consecutive ones from 15, before dropping another shot on the last.

Play was suspended at 3.42pm local time due to lightning threats before resuming about an hour later. It was later abandoned for the day at 5.25pm due to fading light.

A total of 14 players will return at 6.30am on Saturday to resume their second round with the third round slated to start not earlier than 8.00am.

The halfway cut is projected to be at one-over-par 145 with the top 65 and ties progressing into the final two rounds.

Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand

Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand

Did you know?

  • Panuphol amassed 28 putts and hit a total of 16 greens in regulation in his solid round of 65.
  • Panuphol has enjoyed three top-10s in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand so far this season. He sits in 23rd place on the current Order of Merit.
  • Panuphol came in three shots back of India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar to grab a share of second place at the Indonesia Open last year.
  • Panuphol is nicknamed “Coconut” by his parents and he turned professional at a young age of 14.
  • Namchok is a one-time winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
  • The 30-year-old Namchok marred his otherwise perfect card with a double-bogey on the par-three 17th hole. He had fired eight birdies in his commendable round of 66.
  • Rattanon claimed his maiden Asian Tour win on home soil earlier in May.
  • The 22-year-old Rattanon needed only 22 putts around the greens for his round of 66 today.
  • Starting from the 10, Rattanon traded three birdies against a bogey to turn in 34. He added another birdie on the third hole and gave it away on the fifth before storming home with four straight birdies from the sixth.
  • A total of four Thai players are sitting inside top-five on the current leaderboard.

Players’ quotes:

271017_Panuphol Pittayarat_(THAI) 07Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) – Second Round 65 (-7), Total 133 (-11)

I had a good round today. I just stuck to my routine. I didn’t really have a good start because I three-putted my second hole and made bogey. But I kept smiling and I kept hitting the greens and moved on from that hole.

My putting was good today which helped. Started off the year good and then slowed down during the last five tournaments. I am more comfortable now with my ball striking and confident in my swing.

I played well on all of the par threes, hit good shots on the eighth, 12th and 17th and birdied all of them. I did not do too well on the par fives. I was quite annoyed when the suspension came because I was thinking about that short putt I had on 17for birdie although I managed to tap it in when I returned.

I think I was not warmed up enough on the last hole so I ended up with a bogey. I am going to stick to my routine, continue this rhythm and keep smiling for the next two rounds.

Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand

Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand

Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha) – Second Round 66 (-6), Total 135 (-9)

I had a good start today from the 10, nailing four birdies in five holes before stumbling with one double bogey on the 18. I told myself to just keep playing and not think about the double-bogey.

I think I got lucky with my putts today too. I had one good putt on the 13where I made from about 15 feet. I am just going to enjoy my game tomorrow and continue to do what I have been doing for the next two rounds.

Rattanon Wannasrichan (Tha) – Second Round 66 (-6), Total 136 (-8)

I had a great finish to the round. I closed with four birdies from the sixth hole. I hit my irons very good and everything else was good too. The course is in fantastic condition. I will stick to the same game plan for tomorrow. Keep hitting fairways and greens and make a lot of putts tomorrow.

This golf course feels similar to the venue where I won my first Asian Tour title earlier in May. On the par-five sixth hole, I hit two shots on the green and made two easy putts. On the seventh, I hit it close for a tap-in birdie. On the eighth, I chipped it in from 10 yards! That was a lucky shot for me because it was downhill. On the ninth, I made a long putt from about 12 feet for birdie.

I am very happy with the way I played today. The greens and fairways are similar to the venue where I won in May. It’s not too long also. It wasn’t so windy today so it was an advantage. Winning my first title in May has helped my game a lot. I get to play in bigger events and I gained a lot of experiences.

Ends.

Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand

Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand

Scores after round 2 of the Indonesia Open being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah GC course (am – denotes amateur):

133 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 68-65.

135 – Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 69-66.

136 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-66, Andrew MARTIN (AUS) 71-65, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 68-68.

137 – Josh SALAH (USA) 70-67, Michael CHOI (AUS) 68-69, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-68.

138 – Johnson POH (SIN) 69-69, Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 68-70, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 69-69.

139 – Stephen LEANEY (AUS) 66-73, Udayan MANE (IND) 69-70, Ye Htet AUNG (MYN) 68-71, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 70-69, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 70-69.

140 – James BOWEN (USA) 73-67, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 71-69, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 67-73, Jason KNUTZON (USA) 69-71, Danny MASRIN (INA) 67-73, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 74-66, Paul PETERSON (USA) 72-68.

141 – Ekthumrong LUANGANURUK (THA) 72-69, Rory HIE (INA) 68-73, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 72-69, Suttijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 71-70, Quincy QUEK (SIN) 68-73, Zaw MOE (MYN) 70-71, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 71-70.

Ends.

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