Boonchu's Age Defying Act

Sat 01 Aug 2009

Boonchu's Age Defying Act

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Bandar Seri Begawan, Aug 1: Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit continued his age-defying act by rolling back the years to take the third round lead at the Brunei Open on Saturday.
The 53-year-old Thai carded a seven-under-par 64 for a three-day total of 13-under-par 200 to take a one shot lead over Philippines? Jay Bayron who posted a 67 at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.
India?s Gaganjeet Bhullar took a share of third place with Australia?s Scott Barr and Korea?s Ted Oh on matching 202s.
Starting the day in tied-11th, Boonchu got off strongly with three birdies starting from the second to the fourth hole. His birdie blitz continued with another at the 11th after the turn.
A magical eagle three on the par-five 15th then moved him up to the top with another closing birdie on the 18th confirming his lead.
?The week?s turning out to be a fantastic one for me. I?ve been playing well and it?s always nice to know that I can still play with these younger players on the Asian Tour and continue to take the lead,? said Boonchu, also a board member of the Asian Tour.
Bayron continued to stake a strong claim for his maiden Asian Tour title on a day where temperatures rose to a high of 33 degrees Celsius.
?I can?t really ask for more on an extremely hot day like this. My driving and putting have all been in top form and I?m hoping that this will continue into the final day tomorrow,? said Bayron.
The Filipino birdied his second hole but returned that shot with a bogey on the par-three seventh. He posted two more birdies on the 10th and 11th straight after the turn only to drop another shot on the 13th.
However, he answered with an eagle and a birdie on the 15th and 16th to remain on course for his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour.
Bhullar made the biggest move of the day by storming up the leaderboard to take a share of third place after starting the day in tied-21st.
The 21-year-old produced a performance of his own by marking his blemish-free card with a total of seven birdies.
With the possibility of becoming the first player on the Asian Tour to win back-to-back victories this season, the Indian talent is now banking on the mental strength that he has acquired over the years to win his second title in two weeks.
?The thing is to keep everything simple and one thing that has worked for me is to keep my mind relaxed,? said Bhullar
?I think I?ve become a better player after playing the Open in Turnberry. My mental vision towards my goal has definitely changed a lot. Playing on the Asian Tour has also helped me a lot as it taught me how to keep myself in contention week after week,? added the Indian who recently became the youngest Indian to compete in the world?s oldest major a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile compatriot Chinnaswamy Muniyappa set a new course record after firing a sparkling 62.
The 32-year-old Indian from Bangalore notched not only his best score of the week after rounds of 69 and 72, but also put himself in contention for his first win on the Asian Tour.
?This is definitely my strongest start since I turned professional. I always knew that I could play golf well and today?s round has really shown what I?m capable of,? said Muniyappa who heads into the final round tied for sixth.
Brunei Shell Petroleum will title sponsor the Brunei Open while other partners include Brunei Tourism, under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, The Empire Hotel and Country Club, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Brunei Darussalam Golf Association, Cross Creek and Srixon.
Leading third round scores
200 - Boonchu Ruangkit (THA) 65-71-64
201 - Jay Bayron (PHI) 69-65-67
202 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 67-71-64, Ted Oh (KOR) 64-70-68, Scott Barr (AUS) 66-67-69
203 - C. Muniyappa (IND) 69-72-62, Lu Chien-soon (TPE) 65-71-67, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 71-64-68, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 65-71-67
204 - Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 68-68-68, Marcus Both (AUS) 68-67-69, David Gleeson (AUS) 66-69-69, Shaaban Hussin (MAS) 67-68-69, Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 67-65-72, 206 - Sung Mao-chang (TPE) 69-71-66, Darren Beck (AUS) 71-67-68, Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 74-65-67, George Coetzee (RSA) 72-65-69, Sattaya Supupramai (THA) 67-69-70, Gavin Flint (AUS) 64-68-74
Selected scores
208 - Zhang Lian-wei (CHN) 69-71-68, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 68-67-73
Ends.
About the Brunei Open 2009
The Brunei Open is celebrating its fifth anniversary following its historic launch in 2005. The Championship is organised by Brunei Tourism under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and will once again be staged at the award-winning The Empire Hotel and Country Club, Asia?s Ultimate Golf, Spa & Family Beach Resort which is a signature Jack Nicklaus course. The Brunei Open 2009 sponsors are Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd (Title Sponsor); The Empire Hotel and Country Club (Host Venue and Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Cross Creek (Official Apparel), CityNeon (Official Contractor), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions), Cleveland and 100Plus. The Brunei Open is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, which is the governing body for professional tournament golf in Asia and locally by the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association.
About Brunei Tourism
Brunei Darussalam, a peaceful and wealthy kingdom on the northern shores of Borneo, is known for having one of the most pristine tropical rainforest environments anywhere, as well as for the pomp and opulence of its centuries old monarchy, steeped in ancient Malay traditions. With easy international direct access through its Royal Brunei Airlines carrier and other regional airlines, and with an up-market product and image appealing to discerning travellers, Brunei is an exciting and safe new destination waiting to be discovered. For more information on Brunei please visit www.bruneitourism.travel
About Brunei Shell Petroleum
Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP), a dynamic, world-class company and one of the biggest energy companies in Asia, have a long standing history in Brunei of more than 75 years and are at the leading edge of energy technology putting the safety and environment at the heart of everything and invests in the people and community of Brunei.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.