Kiradech is a cut above in Oak Hill

Sat 10 Aug 2013

Kiradech is a cut above in Oak Hill

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August 10: Asian Tour star Kiradech Aphibarnrat battled nerves to safely make the halfway cut with a one-over-par 71 for tied 22nd place at the halfway stage of the US PGA Championship on Friday.
The current Asian Tour number one, who opened his campaign at Oak Hill Country Club with a 68 on Thursday, lamented a poor finish which saw him slip off the pace in the year’s fourth and final Major.
Kiradech stood at two under for the round through 14 holes but made three bogeys in his remaining five holes to stand at one-under-par 139 for the championship, eight shots behind new leader Jason Duffner who carded a 63 for the lead.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
His steady progress made up for last month’s disappointment where he missed the cut at the British Open, which was his maiden Major appearance.
“I got nervous after playing four holes. After four or five holes, my hands were shaking. I was thinking about making my first cut in a Major. Now that I’m in the weekend, I don’t feel so nervous and I’m in good form. I’ll try to get closer to the leaders tomorrow. My iron shots are perfect now,” said Kiradech, who is nicknamed Asia’s John Daly.
“(Starting on 10) I missed a short birdie putt on 14 and then made bogey on 15. I managed to chip in for birdie on 16 which was nice and got another birdie on the fourth hole, a par five. But on my last five holes, I made some mistakes. I hit my tee shot into the rough on the fifth and took three putts on seven. On nine, I found the rough again and dropped from four under for the tournament to one under.”
Last week, Kiradech finished tied 40th in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Into his second week Stateside, the likeable Thai is attracting a small army of fans thanks largely to his aggressive style of play which many people liken to former PGA Champion John Daly.
With his second name being such as tongue twister, Kiradech’s manager Pimporn Rojsattarat said that fans have shortened it to “The Rat”.
Asian Tour winner Marcus Fraser carded a 69 for a share of ninth place, five shots behind Duffner while three-time Order of Merit champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand shot a 71 for tied 38th place.
Thongchai, who played most of his round in light drizzle and winds, is fighting hard to qualify for the Presidents Cup team where he is currently one rung outside the top-10 automatic selection for the International team to face the United States next month. The qualifying cut-off is the end of August.
Asian Tour honorary member K.J. Choi carded a brilliant 65 as he bounced back from a disappointing 76 to move up to tied 38th place alongside Thongchai. The Korean star carded six birdies against a lone bogey.
Another honorary member Vijay Singh is tied 50th, a further shot back. Ernie Els and Y.E. Yang, both honorary members of the Asian Tour as well, missed the halfway cut by three shots.
Read more stories about Kiradech from the international press at the PGA Championship.
http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/pga-championship/2013-08/130808-kindrid-mouthful
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/column-john-daly-asia-makes-his-mark-pga