Lee and Ma Rule

Thu 21 Jun 2012

Lee and Ma Rule

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Jecheon, Korea, June 21: Korean rookie Ma Soo-kil and countryman Lee Sang-hee kept the host country atop the leaderboard when they posted matching six-under-par 66s to share the first round lead at the inaugural Volvik Hildesheim Open J Golf Series on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Korean, who is making his debut on the Korean Golf Tour, mixed his card with five birdies, an eagle and a bogey while Lee enjoyed a flawless round that was highlighted by an eagle-three on the 16th hole to take a single shot lead over compatriots Choi Ho Sung and Kim Dae-hyun.
The Korean pair returned with matching 67s to take tied-third place while Asian Tour winners Pariya Juhnasavasdik of Thailand and Australia’s Scott Hend are among the seven players bunched in equal fifth on 68 at the Hildesheim Country Club.
Ma, who topped the class at the Korean Golf Tour Qualifying School last year, continued to display his good form by reaching the turn in 33 after making three birdies on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes.
He stumbled briefly after the turn with a bogey on the 10th hole but recovered brilliantly with three birdies in his homerun on holes 11, 13 and 16.
“My best ever score in my professional career was a 67 so today’s 66 is a good achievement. As the round went on, I could feel that my confidence was getting better and better,” said Ma.
“Apart from my lone bogey on the 10th, I think I did very well today. There are still three more rounds to go and the key is to stay focused and not get too carried away,” added the Korean.
Meanwhile Lee is hopeful that he will continue to break more records having etched his place in the history books as the youngest winner on the Korean Golf Tour.
The 20-year-old was on the verge of losing his domestic card until he surpassed all expectations by winning the season-ending event on the Korean Golf Tour last year.
“I’m still brimming with confidence as I know I’ve got what it takes to play among the big boys,” said Lee.
“This course is very hilly and it can be difficult to assess the distance. However I’m still able to handle it as my iron play was really solid today,” added the young Korean.
Pariya, who is chasing his second Asian Tour win, opened strongly with four birdies in his first six holes. However, two bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes pegged him back to two-under at the turn.
The Thai hauled himself back into contention by returning home strongly with a flawless inward-nine that was marked by birdies on the first and fourth holes.
“I got off to a really hot start. I could have been five-under through six but unfortunately didn’t really get it going when coming in with my wayward drives. But it’s still a red number and I’ll take that anytime,” said Pariya.
Pariya, who is one of the four nominees for the Volvik best dressed player this week, also hopes to translate his good fashion sense into similar results on the golf course.
“Dressing well is always the key for me as I want to dress well so that people who come out there can also see golfers who have very good dress sense. Hopefully I can play as well as I dress,” said Pariya.
Hend justified his top billing at the Volvik Hildesheim Open with an opening 68 that left him just two shots back of Lee and Ma.
The two-time Asian Tour winner, who opened on the back-nine par four 10th, mixed two birdies against a bogey to turn in 35. He parred the next three holes after the turn before returning with three birdies in his last six holes.
“I was struggling with the slowness of the greens but overall it has been pretty good,” said Hend.
“Because it’s a new golf course, the greens are quite slow. So if you hit it onto the wrong tier, it can be hard to judge the speed going up to the next top tier. I struggled with that today and left a couple of shots out there by misjudging the speed of the greens,” added the Australian on the undulating nature of the course.
The Volvik Hildesheim Open features no less than 14 Asian Tour champions who hold no fewer than 30 victories accumulated between them.
The Volvik Hildesheim Open is jointly sanctioned with the Korean Golf Tour and is the 12th leg of the 2012 Asian Tour Schedule and also the third event to be staged in Korea this season.
Volvik, the leading manufacturer of colour golf balls produced in Korea, is title sponsoring the tournament as an expansion to an earlier commitment to support professional golf at the highest level in Asia.
This is also the first time a golf ball manufacturer is title sponsoring a tournament on the Asian Tour.

Leading first round scores after round 1 of the Volvik Hildesheim Open 2012 being played at the par 72, 7188 Yards Hildeshiem cC course (a- denotes amateur):
66 - MA Soo-kil (KOR), LEE Sang-hee (KOR).
67 - CHOI Ho-sung (KOR), KIM Dae-hyun (KOR).
68 - Scott HEND (AUS), KIM Meen-whee (KOR), Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA), LEE Min-chang (KOR), BAEK Joo-yeob (KOR), KIM Seong-yong (KOR), MO Joong-kyung (KOR).
69 - BYUN Jin-jae (KOR), PARK Jun-won (KOR), KIM Woo-chan (KOR), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA), Stephen LEWTON (ENG), Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN), LEE Ki-sang (KOR), Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA), Javi COLOMO (ESP), PARK Boo-won (KOR).
70 - LEE Min-soo (KOR), PARK Jung-ho (KOR), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), SONG Young-hoon (KOR), SUK Jong-yul (KOR), PARK Hyun-bin (KOR), BAE Sung-chul (KOR), Makoto INOUE (JPN), PARK Seung-hoon (KOR).
Selected scores
71 - Chiragh KUMAR (IND), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), SIDDIKUR (BAN), Danny CHIA (MAS).
73 - Himmat RAI (IND), LAM Chih Bing (SIN)
Ends
About Volvik
Volvik began the research and development of golf ball technology in Korea more than three decades ago and has earned status as one of the leaders in performance golf ball manufacturing. Having a focus on quality and innovation in its unique golf ball styling, Volvik has produced more than 1 million golf balls every year and continues to expand all over the world. The company is dedicated to the production of specialized 3 and 4 piece multi-layer solid golf balls that feature patented dimple technology for optimal performance that satisfies the needs of golfers at every skill level. In just over 30 years of golf ball production, Volvik has developed a reputation based on perfect quality control and innovative development, quickly becoming one of the most significant and trusted golf ball manufacturers in the world. In addition to its partnership with LPGA, Volvik sponsor many events from Girls Golf, Front Row Experience, and LPGA's future's tour, Symetra Tour. Also Volvik has marketing deals with thirteen LPGA tour players - Jin Young Pak, Meena Lee, Jeong Jang (JJ), Jee Young Lee, Allison Duncan, Chella Choi, KyeongBae, Laura Diaz, Christine Song, Ilhee Lee, Min SeoKwak, MiHyang Lee, YooKyeong Kim and Birdie Kim.

About the Asian Tour
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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.