January 26: Young Thai talent Phachara Khongwatmai and Australia’s Sam Brazel opened with matching four-under-par 68s to trail by six shots in tied-26th place at the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday.
Phachara, who started on 10, carded four birdies and made the turn at 37. He dropped a shot on hole one but recovers quickly with a birdie on the second, to also sit at tied 26th. Brazel had a slow start with one birdie on the second hole and dropped a shot on the eighth. However, he made a charge on the back nine with four birdies, to finish his round at tied 26th.
Korean Jeunghun Wang, Australian Jason Norris, India’s Shubhankar Sharma and David Lipsky of the United States, all winners on the Asian Tour, carded equal 69s to tie in 42nd position at the Emirates Golf Club.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Gavin Green of Malaysia, Thai star Thongchai Jaidee and S.S.P. Chawrasia stayed a further shot back in tied-69th following rounds of 70s.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Australian Scott Hend posted identical 71s to grab a share of 90th place.
EurAsia Cup’s Team Asia member Li Haotong of China emerged the leading Asian after opening his campaign with a solid 66. He trails leader Jamie Donaldson by four shots in tied-10th place.