Luckless Kiradech vows to return stronger

Thu 20 Feb 2014

Luckless Kiradech vows to return stronger

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February 20: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat was left to rue his erratic putting after Sweden’s Henrik Stenson staged a late comeback to win the first round match 2 and 1 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday.
Kiradech could not hide his disappointment as he led 1 up through 13 holes but failed to wrap up proceedings with Europe’s number one who fought back with some big putts.
“I was a bit disappointed with my putting today. I missed several short putts especially on the 14th and 15th holes and then the game started to change on 16 when Stenson made a long putt to go 1-up,” said Kiradech.
“I missed another short putt again on the 17th hole and it continued on 18. Anyway, I’ve learnt more about Match Play this week which will work well for me when I play in the EurAsia Cup (in Malaysia) next month,” added the 24-year-old.
Stenson, who won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup last season, won three out of four holes from the 14th hole to seal his passage into the second round and was clearly relieved to get his tough opening match against the 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion out of the way.
“I’m still in shock. It was a tough match. Kiradech is a good player. We both played well at the beginning and it was back and forth for most of the game,” said Stenson.
“I struggle a bit on this course to be honest. It doesn’t really fit my eye. But I played nicely and I’m very pleased to be back for another day,” added the Swede.
Kiradech’s next Match Play appearance will be at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM where he will be part of a 10-man Team Asia line-up set to face Team Europe in the Ryder Cup styled showdown at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29.
Team Asia will be led by playing captain Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who also suffered an early exit from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship after he was defeated 3 and 2 by American Webb Simpson.
The three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner held the upper hand early in the match when he won the second and fourth holes with birdies before Simpson rallied back by squaring the match with pars at the fifth and seventh holes.
The American then made an 11-footer at the ninth hole to go 1 up.
Thongchai bogeyed the 10th hole while Simpson parred his to lead by two  before going 3 up with another birdie on the 13th He then made pars on from 14th to 16th for the win.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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