Chawalit Off to Flying Start

Thu 11 Dec 2008

Chawalit Off to Flying Start

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Siem Reap, Cambodia, December 11: Thailand?s Chawalit Plaphol bolstered his chances of winning his third Asian Tour title when he carded a five-under-par 67 to set the early pace in the opening round of the US$300,000 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open on Thursday.
Fellow compatriot, Tharworn Wiratchant who is seeking a record 11th Asian Tour victory trails closely behind by a single shot together with Malaysia?s Airil Rizman on matching 68s.
The strong Thai contingent of Chinnarat Phadungsil, Thammanoon Srirot and Prom Meesawat are among those bunched together in fourth place on 69.
Chawalit got off to a strong start on his opening back-nine when he rattled in five birdies before making the turn in four-under at the Phokeethra Country Club.
The 34-year-old Thai continued to maintain his lead at the top with two more birdies on the second and fourth hole after the turn before dropping a shot on the sixth for a lone bogey.
?I?m quite pleased with how I?ve played today. If there?s any aspect of my game which I can credit to, it?ll be my putting and tee shots,? said Chawalit.
?My strategy and game plan for tomorrow is the same as today, which is to go out there, hit the fairways and attack the pins,? added Chawalit.
Meanwhile Malaysia?s Airil, who has to endure a disappointing season by his standards so far, hopes that things might just turn around for him this week although he does not want to put any additional pressure on himself.
?Overall, it has been a good round for me. I hit almost every fairway and every green. This is more of a relaxing week for me. I hope to continue playing well and hopefully it all turns out well on Sunday,? said the 30-year-old Malaysian.
Thaworn continued to stake a strong claim for his record 11th Asian Tour title by firing four birdies but not before spoiling his card with a lone bogey at the closing 18th hole.
?It could have been better if I had a bogey free round today. But it?s okay. It?s still early days and there?s still everything to play for,? said the Thai star.
Defending champion Bryan Saltus of the United States began his defence with a 72.
The Johnnie Walker Cambodia Open makes its return to the Phokeethra Country Club from December 11 -14, with the promise of further charting the growth and development of golf in Cambodia.
The event is also the only international golf tournament to be held in the Kingdom of Cambodia and is part of the burgeoning 2008 Asian Tour schedule where there will be a minimum of 30 tournaments with over US$39 million in total prize money on offer.
Ends.
About Johnnie Walker
JOHNNIE WALKER is the world?s number one Scotch whisky brand with annual sales of an estimated 12.7 million nine-litre cases. It is owned by Diageo Plc, the world?s leading premium drinks business.
The JOHNNIE WALKER brand is the icon of status and sophistication. The philosophy behind the JOHNNIE WALKER brand advertising and the ?Keep Walking? message is to inspire and recognize progress and success in people who symbolize status and sophistication.
JOHNNIE WALKER has a long association with golf. Golf and Scotch whisky are arguably two of Scotland?s greatest gifts to the world, which may explain why the world?s leading Scotch whisky brand, JOHNNIE WALKER, is the title sponsor for the Cambodia Open 2007
JOHNNIE WALKER?s association with golf dates back to the mid 19th Century with involvement in many prestigious tournaments including the Ryder Cup in the 1990s and today across all levels of the game and across all continents on earth.
About Phokeethra Country Club
Phokeethra Country Club offers unique and memorable golfing experiences.  It is steeped in the history of the region. Within its grounds stands the magnificent ancient ?Roluh? bridge dating back to a Khmer empire in the 11th century AD.  Apart from the historical related, the Phokeethra Country Club?s clubhouse also features world-class facilities and affords picture-window vistas overlooking the entire landscape of the course.  Phokeethra Country Club is also ranked amongst the top five of the Best New Courses in Asia by Asian Golf Monthly Magazine and also is ranked as the Top Investment by TTG Magazine. As an official partner, Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort, which is the luxurious five stars resort in Siem Reap, welcomes you all to world-class accommodation and amenities.  Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort is located close to the magnificent Angkor Wat World Heritage Site.  It offers 238 superior and deluxe rooms including 23 suites and the unique Thubtim Siam Presidential Suite.  As service is the core of the whole operations, Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort is ranked in the gold list world?s best 700 hotels, resorts and cruise lines, with 100 percent of services by the travelers in the world famous Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.
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 Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Sofitel (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.