Lipsky hot on Hoey's heels #ThailandClassic

Thu 12 Feb 2015

Lipsky hot on Hoey's heels #ThailandClassic

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Hua Hin, Thailand, February 12: Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States underlined his credentials by firing a seven-under-par 65 to trail first round leader Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland by one at the inaugural US$2 million True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain on Thursday.
Teeing off in the morning, Hoey had set the early pace with an impressive course record 64 after firing eight birdies to take the opening honours at the Thai showpiece which is also the richest golf tournament in Thailand.
Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland
Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao was in relaxed mood as he took his place among the leaders with a 65, sharing second place with Lipsky and Spaniard Carlos Pigem at the Black Mountain Golf Club.
India’s Shiv Kapur celebrated his 33rd birthday by posting a 66 to take outright fifth place at the Thailand Classic, which is the first co-sanctioned tournament by the Asian Tour and European Tour in Thailand in eight years.
Lipsky, who was tied for 42nd at the Asian Tour season-opening event in Malaysia last week, was happy to bounce back with an assured performance, befitting of his status as Asia’s number one in 2014.
“I had a bad finish to the week in Malaysia but each and every week, I’ve been getting better and this is the first stretch of the year and my game is still in pretty good shape. It’s always work in progress and I’m trying to get better all the time,” said Lipsky.
The Korean-American also banked on his course familiarity at the Black Mountain Golf Club to put himself into an advantageous position.
“I’ve played here a couple of times and the course is in great shape right now. Scoring conditions are perfect but if you get to the wrong side of these pins, it’s hard to make pars as you’re looking at 20 footers.
“Overall, it was pretty good today as I scored well considering how tricky it was to get to a lot of the locations,” said Lipsky.
Hoey, a five-time European Tour winner, meanwhile took advantage of the early benign morning conditions to kick-start off his campaign promisingly.
“We had 10 or 11 holes with not much wind, which was an advantage teeing off early,” said Hoey.
“No bogeys, no fives on the card, and a course record is a nice start. I’m swinging the club nicely so hopefully I’ll put three more good rounds together and see what happens,” added Hoey.
Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei
Hung, who has won once on the Asian Development Tour, believes his carefree attitude was the key to a bright start.
“I was feeling very relaxed when I went out there today and there was no pressure and I played the best I could,” said Hung.
Despite playing in the afternoon where wind conditions were stronger, the 22-year-old remained firmly grounded, kept the bogeys off the card and returned home comfortably with a 65.
“This (windy conditions) is okay for us as we are used to such conditions back home. In fact, I think we need some wind to cool us down. I just need to remain focus, continue to putt well and I should be okay,” said Hung.
Like Hung, Kapur also kept the bogeys off the card to keep himself in contention.
Despite nursing a cold, the birthday boy got off brightly with five birdies in his opening back-nine 10th.
He added another birdie on six after the turn before returning home comfortably in 66.
“It’s a nice present. You wake up in the morning hoping for a good day because you don’t want to be grumpy for the rest of the day. I couldn’t have asked for a better result.
Shiv Kapur of India Shiv Kapur of India
“They keep saying beware of the sick golfer and it seems to work. Hopefully I can stay sick and keep playing the way I’m!” laughed Kapur.
Leading Scores after round 1 of the True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain being played at the par 72, 7359 Yards Black Mountain course (am - denotes amateur):
64 - Michael HOEY (NIR).
65 - HUNG Chien-yao (TPE), Carlos PIGEM (ESP), David LIPSKY (USA).
66 - Shiv KAPUR (IND).
67 - Scott HEND (AUS), Matt FORD (ENG), Alex NOREN (SWE), Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA), Renato PARATORE (ITA), Miguel JIMENEZ (ESP), Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA), Prayad MARKSAENG (THA).
68 - Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), Paul PETERSON (USA), Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN), Jeunghun WANG (KOR), Richard T. LEE (CAN).
69 - Johan CARLSSON (SWE), Matthew BALDWIN (ENG), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Thomas BJORN (DEN), Thongchai JAIDEE (THA), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Brett RUMFORD (AUS), Adrian OTAEGUI (ESP), Marcus FRASER (AUS), Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN), Kieran PRATT (AUS), Chris LLOYD (ENG), Jbe KRUGER (RSA), Tom LEWIS (ENG), Marc WARREN (SCO), Peter UIHLEIN (USA), Gregory HAVRET (FRA), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS), Johan EDFORS (SWE), Sam BRAZEL (AUS).
Ends.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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 .
About MUSE Group
Muse Group is a boutique marketing agency, specializing in music, and sports and entertainment. Operating in five offices across the Asian region, Muse was the promoter of the FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC Summer Tours in 2014. It is the exclusive marketing agency for the newly-launched Chang International Circuit in Buriram.
 
About Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin
A challenging yet highly enjoyable design, the course enjoys sweeping vistas from almost every hole, and tour-standard conditions. Since opening in 2007, Black Mountain has hosted three Asian Tour events, including the 2014 King’s Cup, and has won a string of international awards. Black Mountain is the only course in Thailand ever to be named in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses (outside the US), and also to receive the accolade “Best Course in Thailand” for the past FOUR years in a row. Also in December 2014, Asian Golf Monthly Magazine voted Black Mountain as the "Best Course in Asia Pacific" and "Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific". Additionally, the magnificent Par 3 sister course may be the best you will ever play. Set in a natural valley, there is water on every hole, requiring precise shot-making and concentration, just as you need on the full length course! Outstanding services, the most modern carts and electric buggies available, first class practice facilities and a modern clubhouse overlooking the course make Black Mountain a golf experience you will long remember. Combine all of the above with a world class restaurant and a 5-star Spa, then you have the complete package for the perfect golfing destination.