Brazel and Lam share opening honours

Thu 13 Mar 2014

Brazel and Lam share opening honours

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Manila, March 13: Sam Brazel of Australia reeled in a five-under-par 66 to share the clubhouse lead with local talent James Ryan Lam in the opening round of the US$300,000 Solaire Open on Thursday.
Brazel, who is a keen angler, traded six birdies against one bogey while Lam posted a flawless round to spearhead the Filipino challenge at the demanding The Country Club, which is hosting its first Asian Tour event.
The 18-year-old Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, a two-time Asian Tour winner, trailed by one shot in tied third as they took advantage of the relatively calm morning conditions.
Playing at The Country Club for the first time, Brazel held his nerve to sink 25 putts over 18 holes to put himself in strong position to win a first Asian Tour title.
“This is my first time here and I enjoy the layout. The wind is a bit tricky but I holed some nice putts which makes it a little bit easier! The wind was calm on the first few holes but kicked in on the fourth hole which is quite a difficult hole,” said Brazel.
He is determined to shine in his second stint on the Asian Tour after going through the rudiments in his rookie season in 2013 where he finished 66th on the Order of Merit.
“Last year was obviously a new experience for me. I want to play consistently again and try to finish inside the top-60 on the Order of Merit which will be a big bonus if I do,” said Brazel, who said that he would be a fisherman if he was not a professional golfer.
Lam, who turned professional in 2010, was rewarded with a bogey-free round when he took the safe approach by keeping his driver in the bag on certain holes.
“I’ve been struggling a lot with my driver and I was talking to my friends who said that it doesn’t matter how you get the ball into the hole. As long as you can keep it in play then it is good enough. I used my three-wood on most of the holes and only pulled out driver on the holes that are really wide,” smiled the 26-year-old Lam.
The tall Filipino missed the halfway cut at the Qualifying School Final Stage in February but continues to maintain a positive approach after working with his Thai mental coach, Sai.
“It was disappointing (to miss the grade at Qualifying School) but I had to look at the positive side of things. I’ve been looking at so many negative things throughout the years and my mental coach has kept me on track to stay positive,” said Lam.
Ends.