ADT: Kiradech savours superb 61

Fri 11 Sep 2015

ADT: Kiradech savours superb 61

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Hua Hin, Thailand, September 11: Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat fired a scintillating 11-under-par 61 to snatch a two-shot clubhouse lead over countryman Prom Meesawat and American Berry Henson at the inaugural Thongchai Jaidee Foundation tournament at the Black Mountain Golf Club on Friday.
The 26-year-old Kiradech sank 11 birdies against no bogeys to lead the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event on a 16-under-par 128. Home town hero Prom, the first round leader, carded a second successive 65 while Henson was equally impressive with a classy 62 that featured two eagles.
Berry Henson of the United States Berry Henson of the United States
Already a two-time winner on the European Tour this season, Kiradech was in full flight during his second round. After posting three birdies in his opening seven holes, he lit  up the course with six straight birdies from the 17th hole.
Thoughts of a magical 59 crossed Kiradech’s mind after he picked up another birdie on the sixth hole to get to 10-under for the day but a wayward drive on seven dashed his hopes as he managed one more birdie over his closing three holes.
“Everything worked well... my driving, irons and putting were all good,” said Kiradech, who was the Asian Tour’s number one in 2013.
“It’s always great to shoot such a low round. After I made birdie on six to get to 10-under, I thought about the 59 but I needed to birdie the last three. I pulled my driver on seven and missed a birdie chance there but 61 is still a great score.
“I think I also got lucky. It’s not an easy course but the rain yesterday helped soften the greens which allowed us to attack the pins.”
Kiradech’s outstanding effort was the lowest round recorded in ADT history although with the preferred lie ruling in effect, it would not be considered an official mark.
With the weekend ahead, the burly Thai, who is rated as one of the most exciting young golfers in Asia due to his grip it-and-rip it style of play, is eager to maintain his momentum to land another victory this year.
“It would be a pleasure to win Thongchai’s tournament. It’s good to see him hosting this event for the players. When I was growing up, I remember reading about him when he became the Asian Tour number one and I wanted to be like him. I’ve managed to win the Order of Merit title in 2013 and it would mean a lot if I can hold his trophy on Sunday,” said the world number 68.
Henson, who is an Asian Tour winner, was also on fire with two eagles, eight birdies against two dropped shots.
The carefree Californian said: “It felt really good despite dropping two bogeys. It’s nice to put in a good score as I’ve been working hard with my coach Shane (Gillespie) over the past few weeks especially on the short game and putting.
“It was a bit disappointing to drop bogeys straight after my eagles on the par three holes where I had an eight iron in hand. I guess I just got a bit over-excited. On our back nine, we saw that Kiradech had reached 14-under and I couldn’t believe it. He played some great golf.”
Henson’s highlights came on 13 when he nailed a three wood to 10 feet for his first eagle of the day while he holed a “crazy” 50-footer for another three on the par five second hole for a two-day total of 130.
Round two was interrupted for an hour by inclement weather in the afternoon, which meant that the afternoon session players, including host Thongchai, will return early Saturday to complete their remaining holes.
Veteran Thai ace Prayad Marsaeng was standing at 12-under with two holes to finish while Thongchai and Pariya Junhasavasdikul are nine-under with three holes to play.
Leading second round scores
128: Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 67-61
130: Berry HENSON (USA) 68-62, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65-65
135: Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 68-67
136: Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 70-66, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-66
137: Janne KASKE (FIN) 68-69, Simon YATES  (SCO) 72-65, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 69-68, Thepbadin AMARANAN (THA) 70-67
138: Chanachok DEJPIRATANAMONGKOL (THA) 71-67, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 70-68, Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 70-68, Teerapat PUNGLAMYAI (THA) 70-68
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.