Pratt to the fore at Ballantine's Championship

Thu 25 Apr 2013

Pratt to the fore at Ballantine's Championship

  • SHARE
Icheon, Korea, April 24: One-time Asian Tour winner, Kieran Pratt kept Australia’s flag flying high on the world stage again after he carded a flawless five-under-par 67 to take a share of the first round clubhouse lead at the weather-disrupted €2,205,000 (Approximately US$2.8 million) Ballantine’s Championship on Thursday.
France’s Jean-Baptis Gonnet, Sweden’s Johan Edfors, England’s Matthew Baldwin, Korea’s Kim Gi-whan joined Pratt atop the leaderboard after they returned with matching 67s at the Blackstone Golf Club in the morning which saw play being suspended for over two hours due to poor visibility.
Pratt is no stranger to success, having won his maiden Asian Tour title in Myanmar last year.
The 25-year-old Australian, who was once ranked 15th in the World Golf Amateur Ranking, however knows he has to keep himself grounded so as to keep up Australia’s proud record of having wins in Thailand, India and the United States in the past two months.
“That's a great start, but the tournament probably starts on Sunday really.  So I'll try to get myself into position to contend and then we'll go from there,” said Pratt, who is among the 10 Australians from the Asian Tour competing at the Ballantine’s Championship this week.
Edfors, who has triumphed twice on the region’s premier Tour in China and Thailand in 2006 and 2009 respectively, is determined to return to his winning ways having made only two cuts in seven appearances on the European Tour so far this year.
“I had a really tough year last year both on and off the golf course but I've done my preparation really well this year.  I've done all the practice that is needed and I guess I now need to be patient to make it happen and I did that well today,” said Edfors.
The Swede started well when he birdied the third and fourth holes before picking up further shots on the sixth, eighth and ninth holes.
Edfors’ momentum was then halted by the play suspension which forced players off the course for over two hours.
The Swede resumed play on the par-four 11th but could not extend his advantage for the outright lead after coming home with an inward 36.
“I was really happy I came out of the block pretty good there on the front nine, five-under and played some really, really good golf.  Then we had the fog delay there, and I didn't really sleep very much last night, so I was a bit tired when we started playing again to be honest,” said Edfors.
“I then started off with a bad three-putt and only managed to make one birdie coming in.  So I was a bit disappointed with my back-nine but overall it was really a good start,” added Edfors.
Ends.