Mo gets back into shape with brilliant 68

Fri 17 Jan 2014

Mo gets back into shape with brilliant 68

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Hua Hin, Thailand, January 17: Korea’s Mo Joong-kyung showed he is capable of matching his younger rivals stride for stride when he got back into the groove with a four-under-par 68  to take the second round clubhouse lead at the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin on Friday.
The 42-year-old Korean’s disciplined fitness regime paid off as he took his place at the top with a two-day total of seven-under-par 137 at the Asian Tour season-ending event held at the Black Mountain Golf Club.
Japan’s Kodai Ichihara gave himself a glimmer of hope of landing his maiden Asian Tour title when he posted a 68 while Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol’s hopes of ending his 2013 season the same way he started, was given a further boost after he returned with a 69.
Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand
Mo’s last win on the region’s premier Tour dates back to 2008 in Thailand.
While age might have caught up with the Korean, he is determined to show he can still compete at the highest level.
“I’m getting old! All the young guys are coming up so it is getting harder to win. I’ve been doing weight training in the last three or four weeks. My body feels pretty good so hopefully I can keep it for the whole year,” said Mo.
“I work out about three times a week for two hours a day. During the days when I don’t work out, I will go for a run for about five kilometres. I need to do all these to keep up with all these young guys!” quipped Mo.
Mo knows he has a realistic chance of ending his six-year title drought this week and is determined to stamp his mark after enjoying a flawless round highlighted by four birdies at the picturesque Black Mountain Golf Club.
“I have a chance now so I’ll try my best.  I’m very happy because I didn’t make a bogey in this wind. The conditions on the golf course are very challenging because of the wind. You need to keep the ball flight low here,” said Mo.
Ichihara, who is also battling to save his Tour card, did not get off to the best of starts when he made two bogeys in his first three holes.
The 31-year-old got back into the mix with four birdies before turning in 34.
He stumbled again on the par-three third with another bogey but would redeem himself with another three birdies on holes four, six and seven to return home safely in 68.
“It was a good round. I struck the ball and putted very well. Most of my birdies were inside five feet except for one which was inside 10 feet.
My season has been okay but I don’t have a good ranking on the Order of Merit. Hopefully that will change after this week,” said Ichihara.
Meanwhile Chawalit, who won his fourth Asian Tour title at the 2013 season-opening event in Myanmar, is upbeat of emulating his early success after a solid round of 69 that was highlighted by four birdies and one bogey.
Kodai Ichihara of Japan. Kodai Ichihara of Japan.
“Yes, it’ll be nice to round off the season with another win as that would give me lots of confidence to start 2014 well again. It was really windy today but I managed to remain steady and I guess it showed in my card today,” said Chawalit.
For the first time ever, the King’s Cup will be broadcast live, over four rounds on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 180 countries and 640 million homes, ensuring extensive worldwide exposure for the popular beach resort town of Hua Hin, sponsors, and the Kingdom of Thailand itself.
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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), 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.