Kiradech's Star Is Still Shining Bright

Fri 22 Feb 2013

Kiradech's Star Is Still Shining Bright

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Yangon, Myanmar, February 22: Thai rising star Kiradech Aphibarnrat did not play his best golf but it was enough for a second round five-under-par 67 to take the early lead at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Alpine on Friday.
Kiradech, who was the co-overnight leader, struggled with his putting but scrambled to a 13-under-par 131 total at the US$300,000 event which is the curtain raiser for the 10th Asian Tour season celebrations.
Thai-based Korean Baek Seuk-hyun (68) was a further four shots back courtesy of two late birdies which was matched by Darren Beck (69) of Australia. They share second place on 135 at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.
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Frenchman Lionel Webber, who is playing in his first event as a professional, registered a 69 to trail Kiradech by five shots heading into the final two days. There was heartbreak for title holder Kieran Pratt of Australia when he was disqualified for arriving late at the tee box.
Kiradech, who lost-in a playoff to Pratt last year, put himself in position of winning his second Asian Tour with six birdies against one bogey but he is not thinking of a victory yet.
“I’ve had a lot of experience in the last few years of being in contention and winning. Right now, I’m not thinking about winning yet because it isn’t the last day yet. I have two more rounds and I want to do my best and give myself a chance,” said the 23-year-old.
Having shot a 64 in the opening round, the burly Thai hopes to rediscover his putting touch during the weekend rounds. “Whatever happens, I want to do my best. I feel my putting stroke isn’t as smooth as it was yesterday but I won’t do much change, just tweak a bit of my back swing.”
Baek, 22, took advantage of the ideal scoring conditions and birdied three out of the four par fives to charge into contention for a first Asian Tour win.
“I found all the fairways on the par fives and took advantage of that. I made easy birdies especially on the 14th hole when I missed a five feet eagle chance. You need good tee shots and putting here because the greens are very tricky,” said Baek.
Australia’s Beck, who has won once on the Asian Tour, is preparing for a tough weekend as he expects Kiradech to go even lower.
“I’m in a good position but the guys are playing well out there and Kiradech (Aphibarnrat) likes this course. I played steady and had a couple of bogeys which didn’t faze me. I had two birdies on the last which was nice to get to nine-under,” said the towering Beck.
Ends.
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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