Thangaraja shares lead with Thitiphun

Thu 05 Nov 2015

Thangaraja shares lead with Thitiphun

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incredible india logoDelhi, November 5: N. Thangaraja shared the early first round lead with Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong on four-under-par 68s at the Panasonic Open India on Thursday.
The 34-year-old Sri Lankan, who turned professional two years ago, fired seven birdies against three bogeys to tie with Thitiphun at the US$400,000 Asian Tour event.
Anura Rohana, also from Sri Lanka, Irishman Niall Turner and Chikka S., who won on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) last week, fired matching 69s to share fourth place at the Delhi Golf Club.
Little known Thangaraja has come a long way since working in a garment factory at the age of 16 before taking up the game seriously when he worked as a caddy in Colombo. Playing mostly on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) he tasted his first victory on the Indian circuit earlier this year.
He battled through rain and the windy conditions early in the round but burst into life when he tapped in for birdie on 18 and added five more birdies and one bogey on his homeward nine.
“The conditions weren’t the easiest today. It started raining soon after I began my round. I endured a tough first-nine. I started turning it around from the 18th where a brilliant chip left me a tap-in birdie,” said Thangaraja.
“I won the NCR Cup back in 2012 at the DGC while still an amateur, so I know my way around this course and enjoy a certain comfort level here,” he added.
The 23-year-old Thitiphun, searching for a first Asian Tour win, said the rain and cold weather helped him to a good score as he holed 25 putts. The highlight of his day came when he holed a 10-yard chip-in birdie on hole 10.
“It rained when I was playing but I think it was nice to play in the cold conditions. It helped my round. I felt comfortable when it was raining. Somehow I felt very relaxed,” said the Thai, who is nicknamed Tote because he does things in his own pace.
“I’ve played here many times and I always hit the ball very well. In the past I struggled with my putting but things have changed for the better now because I’ve been practising a lot on my putter,” said Thitiphun.
Ends.