Cyr and Samooja set early pace

Thu 03 Oct 2013

Cyr and Samooja set early pace

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Tamsui, Chinese Taipei, October 3: American Sam Cyr and Finland’s Kalle Samooja battled through gusty conditions to set the early pace with their opening round two-under-par 70s at the US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Thursday.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand together with compatriot Panuphol Pittayarat fired matching 72s to stay two shots back of the leaders after the morning round.
Cyr, who enjoyed a tied-ninth finish in last year’s edition, showed his liking for the Taiwan Golf and Country Club once again by making his card with four birdies against two bogeys despite the testing conditions.
“This is a big event for me especially for my re-rank at the end of the year. It was a grind out there but I played very solid and hit a lot of great shots. I’ve got to keep making the right decisions by hitting well and also chipping well too,” said the 27-year-old.
“You’re not going to hit every green out here. There are pretty firm and hard here and you’ll be trouble if you hit into the rough and try to find a way out,” added the American.
Thaworn, who won a record 16th Asian Tour title on Chinese Taipei soil three weeks ago, gave another steady performance befitting of his status as the reigning merit champion.
The 46-year-old, winner of the 2004 Mercuries Taiwan Masters, opened with a bogey in his back-nine 10th but stayed patient before he was rewarded with two birdies after the turn on holes two and seven.
Thaworn then dropped another shot at the last to trail the early leaders by two.
“It was very windy when we started and it also started to rain. Those conditions made it very difficult to control my shots. But I hung in there and waited for the right opportunities to score. Thankfully, I managed to do most of that after the turn and it was satisfying,” said Thaworn.
Panuphol, meanwhile found that much-needed confidence after going through the season plagued by inconsistencies and poor form.
The 20-year-old has only made the cuts in six of his 13 starts and will be looking to reignite his title charge at this week’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which is the richest Asian Tour event in Chinese Taipei.
“I’m satisfied with my level-par today. Although I didn’t hit my shots that well, I managed to putt and scramble well. Thanks to my short game, I’m still in there,” said Panuphol
"I just need to stick to my routine and game plan and work on the iron shots. There’re many big events coming up and I just need to gain as much confidence as I can.  I was not really feeling that confidence coming into this week as I haven’t play well for a while but today just gave me a huge boost,” said Panuphol.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the last chance for players to break into the top-10 and secure their place in the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia later this month.
It is also the penultimate event for leading players on the Order of Merit vying for a place in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
Ends.
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), 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,