"Fraser co-leads in Dubai, Thongchai in hunt again"

Fri 20 Nov 2015

"Fraser co-leads in Dubai, Thongchai in hunt again"

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By V.  Krishnaswamy 
Dubai, November 19: Asian Tour legend Thongchai Jaidee carded a three-under-par 69 for tied-12th position in the first round of the DP World Tour Championships at the Jumeirah Golf Estates on Thursday.
Ranked a career best 28th in the world, the Thai veteran was flawless at four-under through 14 holes before dropping his only bogey on 15 to end the day three shots behind the leaders.
Korean An Byeong-hun, who has a chance to become the first Asian to win the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year award, shot 70 to be tied 23rd while current Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri of India and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand shot 73s to be tied 46th.
Asian Tour member Marcus Fraser of Australia, who was twice second on Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2010 and 2012, was brilliant with a 66 to share the first day lead with Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Andy Sullivan.
Fraser, who ensured his place in the event only after a good showing in Shanghai last week, was seven-under through 15 holes. He had seven birdies and one bogey.
“I had to miss all of last year. After playing well last week and making sure I got in, it's always - you know you've done a few things right if you can come and play this tournament to finish off the year. So yeah, especially after a year like I had last year, pleased to get into this tournament,” said Fraser, who was hampered by injuries in 2014.
Lahiri, the only rookie to have won two events this year at the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Hero Indian Open, missed his regular caddie, Rajiv Kumar, who could not make the trip to Dubai due to visa issues.
The 28-year-old Lahiri said: “I missed Rajiv and that did affect a bit.”
Lahiri skipped the BMW Masters in Shanghai last week to recharge his batteries following a long but fruitful season which included a top-five finish at the PGA Championship and an appearance at the Presidents Cup.
“I don’t think I played too badly. It was just that some of the shots that I was trying to being creative did not work. Some of the shots that I hit bad were the ones I was trying to three-quarters and punch shots.”