Both back on top in the Philippines

Fri 16 May 2014

Both back on top in the Philippines

  • SHARE
Manila, May 16: Marcus Both of Australia rediscovered some of his old magic when he charged into the early second round lead with a flawless six-under-par 66 at the ICTSI Philippine Open on Friday.
The two-time Asian Tour winner lost his Asian Tour card last season after an uncharacteristic run of poor form but showed glimpse of his best golf when he fired six birdies for an eight-under-par 136 at the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Joint overnight leader Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh struggled to maintain his hot putting touch to trail Both by three shots following a 73 while Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand was a further shot back in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
The towering Both, who started from the 10th tee, made four straight birdies from the 13th hole before chipping in from the greenside bunker on 18. He continued his hot run with another birdie on five to set the early pace.
“It is rare day where you keep the big numbers off your card especially here because everyone will say that it is a golf course that can bite you at any stage. Every shot here requires 100% commitment,” said Both.
The 34-year-old won his first Asian Tour title in his debut season in 2003 and added to that tally when he won the 2009 Cambodian Open. In his colourful career on the Asian Tour, Both has never finished outside the top-50 on the Asian Tour except in 2013 where he ended the season in 74th place.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh
Relying on limited playing opportunities this year, Both hopes to seal the deal and make a swift return as an Asian Tour regular.
“At the end of last year, I was playing better than what my score suggested. That was why it was so frustrating. I played poorly at the start on 2013. One of my strengths was ball striking and I hit it really poorly.”
“There has been a lot of good stuff in my game in the last couple of months. It is nice to be back up on the leaderboard. I was there or there about in Jakarta and I have to keep pressing on and keep doing what got me here,” Both explained.
EurAsia Cup Siddikur, a two-time Asian Tour winner, struggled with a cold putter after returning with one birdie against two bogeys, a contrasting round compared to his opening 66.
“I’m not disappointed because we have two days more to go. Every day is a different day and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can get back into the same rhythm so that explains why I shot a 66 yesterday and a 73 today!” said Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour.
Ends.