Kataoka back in title hunt after holding lead

Fri 14 Jun 2013

Kataoka back in title hunt after holding lead

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Samui, Thailand, June 14: Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka is back on his title hunt after he signed for a second round three-under-par 68 to continue his stranglehold at the THB 9.6 million (approximately US$312,000) Queen’s Cup on Friday.
After suffering the disappointment of missing out on a grandstand finish in his last event in Jakarta, the 24-year-old is determined not to lose his grip on the lead again as he heads into the weekend round with a two-day total of nine-under-par 133 at the Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng kept the local hopes alive when he fired the day’s lowest score of 64 to share second place with Bangladesh’s Siddikur.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung also posted a 64 to take equal fourth place alongside Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij and Jazz Janewattananond on matching 136s.
Kataoka never had the experience of leading a tournament until his heroics in Jakarta saw him equal his best result on the Asian Tour with a third place finish last month.
Having put himself into another commanding position again, the Japanese is eager to make amends this week.
"I’m looking for revenge! I couldn’t handle the pressure back then but I’m feeling a lot better now. I feel that I’m ready and I don’t want to lose out again,” said Kataoka.
Kataoka dropped his first shot of the week at the par-three 13th but battled back into contention quickly by making three consecutive birdies starting from the 16th hole.
After turning in 33, the Japanese added another birdie on the eighth hole to extend his advantage over the chasing pack to two.
“I played well today except for the 16th where I misjudged my shot. Other than that, my tee shots were perfect and I managed to find the greens on many occasions,” said Kataoka.
Meanwhile Prayad will be looking to claim his long awaited victory at Santiburi Samui Country Club having come close with three top-three finishes since the Queen’s Cup made its debut on the Asian Tour in 2009.
After overcoming a six-shot deficit to briefly take the lead in the morning, Prayad is hopeful of a win at the Queen’s Cup, an event which he regards as a very important one on the region’s premier Tour.
“The Queen’s Cup is a very special event as it means a lot to the Thai people. We’re playing for the Queen’s honour and a win by a local will mean a lot for the Thai people,” said Prayad.
The 47-year-old started his back-nine 10th by marking his card with birdies on holes 11, 14, 16 and 18.
The Thai continued his dominance with two birdies in three holes after the turn. He signed off well with another birdie on the par-four ninth.
“I did not commit too many mistakes today and I was driving the ball really well. Hopefully, it continues to stay this way till Sunday,” said Prayad, whose best result at the Queen’s Cup came in 2011 where he finished second.
Having won the King’s Cup in his rookie year, Arnond knows the Queen’s Cup would be a nice addition in his trophy cabinet.
However, he prefers not to put too much pressure on getting that win just yet.
“I haven’t really thought about it as it’s still early days. I didn’t really do too well last year, so this year I’m just trying to get around the course and not make any silly mistakes,” said Arnond, who finished in 70th place last year.
The 24-year-old took advantage of the benign weather conditions in the morning by mixing five birdies against one bogey to make his move.
“I drove the ball a lot better and gave myself lots of chances. The conditions were also easier as there were less wind,” said Arnond.
Fung will have to make last minute changes to his flight itinerary home after he surprised even himself with a 64.
“I initially booked an early afternoon flight back to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday but I think I’ve to change to an evening one now. I’ve always tee off in the early groups but today’s score was totally unexpected,” said a beaming Fung.
“I played really well today. All my putts went in and I even managed to chip in from about 30 yards for eagle on the 16th,” added the Malaysian, who marked his card with six birdies, one eagle and a bogey.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand made the early exit after he carded a 75 to miss the weekend cut which was set at four-over-par.
Sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Thailand PGA, the Queen’s Cup is held in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit and is one of four tournaments in Thailand to feature on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season after establishing itself as a players’ organisation in 2004.
The weekend rounds of the Queen’s Cup will be broadcast live on True Sport and will also feature on the Asian Tour Golf and Highlights show.
Queen’s Cup Bangkok Airways – SAT Samui Golf Tournament 2013 is mainly sponsored by Bangkok Airways, Sports Authority of Thailand, Santiburi Samui Country Club, Bangkok Hospital Group, PTT Co.,Ltd, Bangkok Bank, Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group, Tourism Authority of Thailand and co-sponsored by Four Seasons Resort, Samui Palm Beach Resort and Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam.
Leading scores after round 2 of the Queen's Cup Bangkok Airways - SAT Samui Golf Tourn being played at the par 71, 6791 Yards Santiburi GC course (a- denotes amateur):
133 - Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 65-68.
135 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 71-64, SIDDIKUR  (BAN) 66-69.
136 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 68-68, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 72-64, Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 69-67.
137 - Danny CHIA (MAS) 65-72.
138 - Quincy QUEK (SIN) 71-67, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 71-67, Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN) 71-67, Stephen LEWTON (ENG) 70-68, Martin ROMINGER (SUI) 69-69, Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 68-70.
139 - Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-68, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 71-68, Berry HENSON (USA) 72-67, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 69-70, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 67-72, David LUTTERUS (AUS) 70-69, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 69-70.
Selected scores
142 - Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 72-70
148 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 73-75
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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), 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