Kiradech slips back with putting woes at WGC-Mexico Championship

Sat 03 Mar 2018

Kiradech slips back with putting woes at WGC-Mexico Championship


Mexico City, March 2: For the second straight day, Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s putter misbehaved.

Two three-putt bogeys over his closing three holes left him with a disappointing level par 71 in the third round of the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship on Saturday, putting him six shots back of leader Shubhankar Sharma of India.

Big-hitting Kiradech started the round trailing by four but on golf’s ‘Moving Day’, he moved backwards with 10 straight pars before making his first birdie on 11 from seven feet. After picking up another bidie on 15, his good work came undone with bogeys on 16 and 18 as he slipped to tied 11th position.

“Just my putting … my putting was terrible,” rued Kiradech. “I got two bogeys with three putts and I missed many short putts. It is really disappointing with the way I'm playing. It is difficult when you can't make a putt. It's really difficult and I'm not good with the speed today, even this week. Many putts that should drop from inside six, seven feet didn’t drop.”

The Thai, the Asian Tour No. 1 in 2013, is still not discounting a title challenge on Sunday and is hoping for his flat stick to finally cooperate. “I’ll still play the same game but hopefully the putts drop tomorrow, same as the first round. I’m going to hit some putts now, roll some balls and get a new feel.”

If Kiradech cannot produce the comeback on Sunday, he will be rooting for third round leader Sharma, who takes a two-shot lead over a star-studded field in the US$10 million showpiece.

“He shows that all Asian players are strong. I think he's one of the best players in Asia at the moment with two wins this season and he showed you can be at the top after three days in the World Golf Championships, which has surprised everyone.

“I'm sure all the spectators, less than 10 percent, know who Shubhankar is. And three days he has shown that our Asian players are much stronger than they used to be. It won’t surprise me if he is going to win tomorrow. He's got a bright future, a lot of majors coming up.”