Baek knocks on the door again in Samui

Fri 06 Jun 2014

Baek knocks on the door again in Samui

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Samui, Thailand, June 6: Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun fired a blistering five-under-par 66 to put himself in prime position for a maiden Asian Tour victory midway through the second round of the Queen’s Cup on Friday.
The 25-year-old Baek, who has notched seven top-fives since 2013 including a runner-up finish in Indonesia recently, penciled down eight birdies against three bogeys at the Santiburi Samui Country Club for a seven-under-par 135 total in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
EurAsia Cup star Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh battled to a 70 to lie three shots back alongside 2009 Queen’s Cup champion Chinnarat Phadungsil, who also carded a 70 for a 138 total.
Overnight leader Poom Saksansin is playing in the afternoon session.
Bangkok-based Baek, who is currently fifth on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, is desperate to land a first tour title but knows that staying patient at the tricky Santiburi Samui course will be the key.
“I’m really happy with the score. I don’t like this course as it’s hard to play and the wind is hard to read. I started bogey, bogey (on 11 and 12) but came back fast with birdies on 14 and 15 and then 17 and 18. It was a fast comeback and my confidence came back. I made only four fairways but my second shots were good and my putting was good,” said Baek, whose four previous appearances here has included two missed cuts.
“I have surprised myself by leading on this course. Two years ago, I led by three shots until the third hole and then on four, I made an eight. I’ve led the first two rounds many times ... I don’t want to think about it. When I think about winning, I never play good. I want to concentrate on playing my golf and enjoy looking at the views here.”
With three top-10s in Samui, Siddikur will be on the hunt for a third Asian Tour victory after battling to two birdies against a lone bogey.
“I missed some easy birdie putts but made some tough up and downs. Overall, it was equal. I wasn’t too disappointed missing those short putts,” said the Bangladeshi, who contributed two points in Asia’s memorable draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia in March.
“I’m happy. The course is playing really tough. I’m not going to think about anyone else. I’m trying to drive it on the short grass.”
Still only 25 and with three Asian Tour titles under his belt, Chinnarat battled to a 70 to give himself another shot of winning the Queen’s Cup, which is held in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit.
“I made a bad start with a bogey on the first hole. I got a bit better but it was just regulation golf. I had two or three birdie chances before the birdie on six but I just couldn’t get them in. I missed chances on 14, 15 and 18. The greens are difficult to read,” he said.
“I feel like it’s been such a long time when I won my last tournament (2009 Queen’s Cup). If I can play like yesterday, hit it good and if my putting works, I think I will have a chance.”
Current Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri of India fought back with a 68 for a 143 total, currently eight behind the leader.
I haven’t played for two weeks straight and I was just not there yesterday. I couldn’t trust my swing and wasn’t sure of my yardages or my ball flight. It was kind of a guessing yesterday,” said Lahiri, who got married last week and needs a win her to qualify for the US Open.