Kiradech stays in title race

Fri 13 Dec 2013

Kiradech stays in title race

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Bangkok, Chonburi, December 13: Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat showed he could match the big boys as he stayed in contention after two rounds of the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship following a four-under-par 68 on Friday.
The 24-year-old, who already has one hand on the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown, came alive on his inward nine at the Amata Spring Country Club, shooting four birdies after turning in 36 in the star-studded Asian Tour event.
He was delighted to go toe-to-toe with man-of-the-moment Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who is tied seventh with the Thai on seven-under-par 137 at the halfway stage of the prestigious event. Another playing partner, Bubba Watson of the United States, is three shots back.
Justin Rose of England and Spains’ Sergio Garcia share the halfway lead on 133 following rounds of 68 and 65 respectively.
“It was a good result. Struggling on the front nine (from the 10th hole), couldn’t get the putts to roll but I recovered on the back. I struck the ball better and holed a few putts,” said Kiradech, who is seeking a first Asian Tour victory on home soil.
“In the morning, the greens were softer than yesterday which made it easier for the morning players. I struck it well but the line and speed didn’t match in my putts and I didn’t make many putts.”
With Stenson, the first man to win the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and PGA Tour’s FedExCup in the same season, shooting a 67 for a seven-under total, Kiradech was happy to he could match the current world number three.
“I can say that this has been my success year and I’ve had the chance to play with the big players. I can watch them and see how they strike the ball. It helps us to improve our own level. I always try to learn and try to be like Henrik and Bubba,” said Kiradech.
With one win in Malaysia this season and five other top-fives, the big Thai is hoping to end his memorable season on a winning note, especially in front of his Thai friends and family members. Some of his friends have also been out in full force at Amata Spring wearing tee shirts with his caricature and the words “Team Kiradech”.
As he is four back from the lead going into the weekend rounds, Kiradech is determined to unleash his go-for-broke attacking play to challenge the leaders.
Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand
“I want to attack some more and change my game a bit. I’m four behind and that is why I have to start moving tomorrow. Otherwise I’ll be too far behind. However, I don’t want to really force myself. It’s my last two rounds of the year and I want to enjoy it and play well in front of my friends and family. I just want to play well for them,” he said.
Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand slipped back to tied 11th place after a disappointing 74 and was tied with countryman Panuphol Pittayarat who moved up the leaderboard with a 68. Thongchai Jaidee and Prom Meesawat are equal 27th on 142.
About the Thailand Golf Championship
The primary organizers of the event are Gulf Sports Management, the Asian Tour and IMG. They have been well supported by both government and private organizations such as Siam Commercial Bank, Gulf JP, Toyota, Tourism Authority of Thailand, PTT Public Company Ltd, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited, Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Thaioil, IRPC, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Omega, Nooter / Eriksen, Samithivej Hospital, Starwood, CNN, SuperSports, Heineken, Ricoh, Graham Beck Wines, EST Cola, Panasonic, Srixon, Central Pattana, Bangkok Post and Amata Spring Country Club.
Thailand Golf Championship tickets are available at Thaiticketmajor at Baht 300 each for Round 1 and 2 (December 12 and 13). The price for Round 3 (December 14) is Baht 400, and for the final day on December 15 the price is Baht 500. A 4-day package ticket is only Baht 800. Children below the age of 16 and senior citizens 60-years-old and over can enjoy Thailand Golf Championship for free. Special offers for SCB Credit Card, PTT Blue Card, SPG Member Card and Samitivej Patient and Staff Card holders are available till December 11, 2013. Please call 02-262-3456 or visit www.thaiticketmajor.com for details.
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
Ends