Kiradech continues impressive run at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Fri 23 Mar 2018

Kiradech continues impressive run at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play


Austin, United States, March 23: Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat continued his impressive run at the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play by defeating American Keegan Bradley 1-up to win his second consecutive match at the Austin Country Club on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Kiradech, Asia’s number one in 2013, won his opening match 3&2 against Chez Reavie of the United States and needs only a win or half in his last group match against Jon Rahm of Spain to qualify for the knock-out rounds for the first time in his career.

Kiradech, who went 2-up against Bradley with two birdies in his opening three holes, battled tooth and nail against Bradley coming down the stretch before he sunk a crucial 12-foot birdie putt on the 18 to remain unbeaten in the Match Play event.

“I'm really proud with the way I putted on the last hole. I was just trying to control myself, stay calm, and play shot by shot all day. It was the first time I played the 17th and 18th holes in the event so I am happy with how things turned out. The last putt took quite a bit of pressure off me.

“I have been playing good golf. I have been really comfortable with my swing for the last couple of months. I think playing in Match Play really suits my game. I won a Match Play event in Perth last month. I just need to keep playing my own game, pay attention and keep calm,” said the big-hitting Thai.

Kiradech won his third Asian Tour title at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth last month and claimed his third victory on the Asian Development Tour in Brunei a fortnight ago. He is currently in 32nd place on the Official World Golf Ranking and is the highest-ranked player from Thailand. He had also won the Paul Lawrie Match Play event in 2015.

“Match play is something you have to go for it. Sometimes you have to back off. It depends. This course is in a fantastic shape and it’s a perfect venue for the match play. You can make a couple of birdies but you can also make a lot of bogeys as well. It just all depends on your game plan,” Kiradech added.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who leads the current Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, unfortunately lost his match 3&1 against American Xander Schauffele while American Matt Kucher clinched a 1-up victory over Japan’s Yuta Ikeda.

Kiradech, Sharma and Ikeda will be up against Rahm, Dylan Frittelli and Zach Johnson respectively in the third round of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The top performer from each group will make it into the round of 16 on Saturday.