China's Great Hope Hu Roars with a 66

Thu 28 Mar 2013

China's Great Hope Hu Roars with a 66

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Chiangmai, March 28: China’s Hu Mu outscored Major champions Ernie Els and Y.E. Yang with a bogey free six-under-par 66 to share second place in the opening round of the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT on Thursday.

The 23-year-old, playing on a sponsor’s invitation, made one birdie on the front nine but charged home with an eagle on 14 and three birdies at the magnificent Alpine Golf Resort-Chiangmai.

Hu ended the day one back from multiple Asian Tour winner Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand at the US$750,000 full-field Asian Tour event. South African Els and Yang, Asia’s first Major winner, carded matching 69s.

“It felt great. I know the course is playing tough but I saw a six-under in the early round so that was what I was aiming for. The front nine plays a little bit tougher because it is playing longer. I had a few birdie looks but it all lipped out.

“The course suits my game and my eye. I was happy with my driving. I drove my ball well and found seven fairways. It doesn’t seem much but I kept the ball in play and kept myself out of trouble. My short game was good. I hit only 11 greens but made 24 putts,” added Hu, who closed out his round with two closing birdies.

The young Chinese has enjoyed some hot starts on the Asian Tour but knows he needs to maintain his consistency throughout the week if he wants to join countrymen Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong as winners on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013.

He was in the running to finish in the top-40 at the Asian Tour Qualifying School for his Tour card earlier this year but dropped out of contention after a final round 78. At the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open, he posted a 67 on the first day and ended his campaign in tied 39th following further cards of 70, 71 and 73.

“I’ve been in contention in the last couple of events. I just want to keep building on that, keep my confidence up and get ready for the weekend,” said Hu.

Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka opened his campaign with a topsy-turvy 70 which included five birdies and three bogeys. Playing alongside Ernie Els and Thongchai Jaidee, the four-time Asian Tour champion said he took a lot of positives playing alongside four-time Major winner Els.

“Ernie and Thongchai played really well. It was a very easy 69 for them and they missed so many putts. There was plenty for me to learn from them. Two under for me was okay as my putting and iron play was not good. I will need to go to the range to work on my iron play,” said Hiratsuka.

About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistic Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf

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