Chinnarat Delivers Promise

Fri 05 Oct 2012

Chinnarat Delivers Promise

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Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, October 5: Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil lived up to his promise as the next generation of young stars to emerge from the Asian Tour when he posted a seven-under-par 64 to take the clubhouse lead at the second round of the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi after play was suspended due to darkness on Friday.
Tournament host K.J Choi of Korea proved that he is still the force to be reckoned with as he blitzed through the course to go atop the leaderboard with Chinnarat at 10-under-par through 14 holes when play was halted.
Korea’s Lee Sung battled his way back into contention with a 68 to take a share of third place alongside Canada’s Ryan Yip who posted a 71 after heavy fog had caused two hours of  play to be lost at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club in the morning.
Chinnarat, who has been billed as one of the stars to look out for this week, did not disappoint as he went on a birdie blitz to put himself in prime position to end his three-year title drought with his two-day total of 10-under-par 132.
After overcoming an early bogey-five on his opening par-four 10th, Chinnarat played like a man possessed as he ran off three birdies on the 11th, 14th and 15th holes before reaching the turn in 33.
“It was really cold when I started on the first hole. I hit my first shot onto the fairway but hit a bad second shot. I managed to recover quickly by hitting a lot of good shots and I also managed to putt well,” said Chinnarat.
The three-time Asian Tour winner, who became the youngest winner on Tour when he won his first title on home soil at the age of 17 years and five days, had an even more impressive inward-nine when he stormed home with five more birdies.
“I was hitting the ball well yesterday but the greens were just very bumpy in the back-nine and I missed many putts. But today, I managed to convert most of my chances,” said Chinnarat.
Starting his round five shots back of overnight leader Yip, Choi got off the blocks quickly with four birdies in his opening six holes.
The fast-charging tournament host made the turn in 32 and continued to delight the large galleries following him with another four birdies in his next five holes before darkness fell on the course.
“When I started to warm up in the afternoon, I could sense that my putting was going to work for me today. When I got my first birdie on the opening hole, the confidence started coming back and I had this feeling that I was going to do very well today,” said the Asian Tour honorary member, who joins the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods as players with their own tournaments.
When asked if the play suspension would be disruptive to his charge, Choi felt it did not really matter as he knows that his good form will not desert him when play resumes.
“It doesn’t really matter. You’ve to play well over four days and not just one day. I’m looking forward to continue my charge tomorrow,” said Choi.
Lee, meanwhile was poised to trim Chinnarat’s advantage to just one shot in the morning until a double-bogey on his closing par-four ninth stalled his charge.
After turning in 33, Lee dropped his first shot on the third hole.
He then raced towards the top of the leaderboard with four birdies in five holes starting from the fourth hole until the double-bogey-six slammed the brakes on his charge.
While Yip could not match his opening best of 64, the Canadian is satisfied that he will be among the leaders heading into the weekend rounds at the US$750,000 event which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour.
“If you told me at the start of the week that I’ll be in contention and just a couple of shots back, I would have taken it anytime,” said Yip, whose Chinese parents migrated to Canada where he was born and raised.
“I just got to keep doing what I done like in the first round, keep the ball in play and hopefully make some putts over the weekend. That’s what it’s ultimately going to boil down to,”added Yip.
CJ Group, Korea’s food-to-entertainment conglomerate, has a three-year agreement to title sponsor the tournament which will be beamed live on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 200 countries and 650 million homes. It will also be broadcast on KBS and J-Golf channel.
Leading morning scores after round 2 of the CJ Invitational Hosted by K.J. CHOI being played at the par 71, 7152 Yards Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club course (a- denotes amateur):
132 - Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 68-64.
135 - LEE Sung (KOR) 67-68, Ryan YIP (CAN) 64-71.
136 - KIM Dae-hyun (KOR) 71-65.
137 - LEE Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 69-68, Charlie WI (KOR) 67-70.
Selected scores
K.J Choi (Kor) -10 through 14 holes
Ben Curtis (Usa)  -6 through 14 holes
About the KJ Choi Foundation
K.J. Choi, one of the most successful golfers to come from Korea, did not want to stop with his own personal success, but felt a strong social responsibility to give back to society and realized he needed a reliable means of doing so. Joining together with other community leaders in Korea who share the common idea, he established the K.J. Choi Foundation in 2007 for this purpose. K.J. Choi Foundation conducts major charitable projects for those who are faced in hopeless situations in Korean domestic and International communities. The Foundation especially focuses in the support of underprivileged children by lovingly providing welfare services and professional help, thus providing young people with hopes and dreams. K.J. Choi also works closely with many community leaders to help support junior golfers in difficult financial and environmental situations fulfil their dreams through his junior golf program, K.J. Choi Dream Team. K.J. Choi Foundation’s vision is to be a community leader that provides hope and happiness for all, and its purpose is to be a Foundation for everyone.
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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.