Superb Kiradech shows his class in Korea

Thu 10 Oct 2013

Superb Kiradech shows his class in Korea

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Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, October 10: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand recovered from an early bogey to seize the initiative in the weather-disrupted first round at the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi after shooting seven-under through 13 holes on Thursday.
The Asian Tour Order of Merit leader bogeyed the second hole but bounced back with eight birdies highlighted by a chip-in birdie from the ninth hole greenside bunker at the immaculate Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club on the outskirts of Seoul.
Kiradech is among 60 players who will return on Friday to resume the first round at 7am after play was called off for the day due to darkness. Play was suspended earlier in the morning for two hours and 30 minutes due to thick fog.
Kim Tae-hoon of Korea finished the day on 66 to take the clubhouse lead while Matthew Stieger of Australia, Kim Jae-ho of Korea, Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand and Jyoti Randhawa of India were a further shot back at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.
Asian Tour honorary member K.J. Choi, who is aiming for an unprecedented third straight win in his own event, was one-over through 13 holes after posting a double bogey on the first hole and adding a birdie on 12.
Kiradech, who won the Maybank Malaysian Open which was sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour in March, was jolted into action when he bogeyed the second hole.
Kim Tae-Hoon of Korea Kim Tae-Hoon of Korea
“I’ve been playing very consistently and I guess I’m just carrying on my form. The key for me was when I birdied three straight holes after I three putted for bogey on the second hole. It gave me the confidence to carry on from there,” said Kiradech.
Despite nursing a wrist injury, the Thai, who is nicknamed the ‘John Daly of Asia’ for his grip-it and rip-style of play, remained composed as he outplayed playing partners Choi and Major champion David Toms, who was even par before play was stopped.
“I didn’t feel any pain in my wrist so I think it is 90% healed. I tried to play my own game and not think about anything. I’m very comfortable with my game and I didn’t feel any pressure even though I was playing with K.J. Choi and David Toms,” said Kiradech.
The 28-year-old Kim continued his renaissance after struggling with inconsistent drives in the last eight years. In his efforts to remedy the problem, he had broken at least 30 drivers in practice.
It was only when he lost his Tour card on the Korean Golf Tour last season that he decided to take a different approach in the game which resulted in him regaining playing rights in Korea through Qualifying School and going on to win his first title in August.
“I had the yips with my driver in the last eight years. I was nervous every time I pulled out the driver because I would hit a bad shot. I
Jyoti Randhawa of India Jyoti Randhawa of India
practised so hard to try to improve on my driving and because I tried too hard, I broke at least 30 drivers,” said the 28-year-old Kim.
“The yips I had with my driver disappeared when I lost my Tour card on the Korean Golf Tour. I started to be more comfortable with my game and took things easy,” he added.
Randhawa took a nap during the morning delay and started the round fresh as he returned with a bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies.
“I went to sleep during the weather delay! My caddy was looking for me and I was in the medical room but nobody could find me. It was a good rest because I was ready to go after that and I came back with a good score,” said the eight-time Asian Tour winner.
The CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi is title sponsored by the CJ Group, Korea’s food-to-entertainment conglomerate and is promoted by IMG.
Leading first round scores
7-under through 13 holes- Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA)
66 - KIM Tae-Hoon (KOR)
67 - Matthew STIEGER (AUS), KIM Jae-Ho (KOR), Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA), Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND)
68 - KANG Sung-Hoon (KOR), JUNG Ji-ho (KOR)
69 - Darren BECK (AUS), Chapchai NIRAT (THA), Rikard KARLBERG (SWE), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS), Berry HENSON (USA), MAENG Dong-seop (KOR).
About the K.J. Choi Foundation
K.J. Choi, one of the most successful golfers to come from Korea, did not want to stop with his own personal success, but felt a strong social responsibility to give back to society and realized he needed a reliable means of doing so. Joining together with other community leaders in Korea who share the common idea, he established the K.J. Choi Foundation in 2007 for this purpose. K.J. Choi Foundation conducts major charitable projects for those who are faced in hopeless situations in Korean domestic and International communities. The Foundation especially focuses in the support of underprivileged children by lovingly providing welfare services and professional help, thus providing young people with hopes and dreams. K.J. Choi also works cl
Wade Ormsby of Australia Wade Ormsby of Australia
osely with many community leaders to help support junior golfers in difficult financial and environmental situations fulfil their dreams through his junior golf program, K.J. Choi Dream Team. K.J. Choi Foundation’s vision is to be a community leader that provides hope and happiness for all, and its purpose is to be a Foundation for everyone.
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), 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.