Namchok edges in front at the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship

Thu 11 Oct 2018

Namchok edges in front at the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship


Karachi, Pakistan, October 11: Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand got off to a flying start as he carded a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of the lead with Pakistani amateur Ahmad Baig at the US$300,000 UMA CNS Open Golf Championship on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Namchok may have hit only six out of 14 fairways, but his accurate recovery shots gave him plenty of chances for birdies. The two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner traded eight birdies against three bogeys to end his day on top of the leaderboard at the Karachi Golf Club.

Baig took advantage of a hot putter and did not let the pressure get to him as he went one clear over the rest of the field. He totalled 25 putts for the round, including five one-putts for birdie.

Thailand’s Pawin Ingkhapradit, Philippines’ James Ryan Lam, Honey Baisoya of India and Pakistan’s number one golfer Muhammad Shabbir are in tied-third.

Pawin started his tournament steadily as he made the turn at hole 18 on even-par 36. He then played flawlessly on his remaining nine holes that was highlighted by four birdies.

Lam took his chances with his driver and was rewarded with a leading position on the leaderboard. Even though he missed half the fairways, Lam was able to find 14 out of 18 greens in regulation due largely to the shorter approaches.

Muhammad Shabbir of Pakistan

Local favourite Muhammad Shabbir continued his good run of form at the Karachi Golf Club as he signed for a 68. The 41-year-old, who won the local edition of the tournament last week, missed only one green in regulation and dropped just a single shot in the opening round.

Did you know:

  • Namchok Tantipokhakul’s enjoyed a tied-14th finish at the Bangladesh Open this year.
  • Namchok’s name translates to “Lucky” in Thai.
  • He won once on the ADT last year, at the 2017 Boonchu Ruangkit Championship.
  • Pawin Ingkhapradit missed only three greens-in-regulation in his opening round.
  • He started the year in good form by posting a lone second finish this year on the Asian Development Tour at the Singha Laguna Open.
  • His best finish on the Asian Tour so far is tied-fifth at the 2013 SAIL-SBI Open in India.
  • Honey Baisoya posted two top-10s in 2018. He was tied-sixth at both the Bangladesh Open and the TAKE Solutions Masters.
  • His was placed a career-best fifth at the 2016 Panasonic Open India.
  • Muhammad Shabbir won the local edition of the UMA CNS Open Championship last week by six shots.
  • He has over 150 victories on the local circuit and is widely regarded as Pakistan’s number one player for the past two decades.
  • This is James Ryan Lam’s best first round score since 2014, when he opened with a 66 at the Solaire Open.
  • Lam will want post a good result in Pakistan after being disqualified at the Asia-Pacific Classic, his last Asian Tour event.

Players’ quotes

Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha) – First round 67 (-5)

I putted well today, which saved the round. I missed all my fairways on the front nine but made only two bogeys. In the back nine, I managed to keep my drives on the fairway.

I’m happy with my birdie-birdie start. The hole I’m most satisfied with is the ninth, which is a very tough hole. I drove into the trees, but the ball bounced out onto the first cut. I hit it onto the greens in two and made a birdie.

The conditions were pretty alright this morning. The greens were quite sticky, but they roll true. I hope to play just as well tomorrow.

Ahmad Baig (Pak) - First round 67 (-5)

This is my first Asian Tour event. I’m very happy about my round, especially the front nine (holes 10 to 18), where I made four straight birdies. I’m pleased with my putting today as I made five one-putts for birdies.

I’m based in Lahore, but I play here in Karachi Golf Club for some tournaments. The pressure mounted on my 14th hole when I had the share of the lead, but I’ve been in this situation before. I won one month ago, the Sindh Open, on this course. I’ll just play my best tomorrow and aim to shoot four or five under par.

Pawin Ingkhapradit (Tha) – First round 68 (-4)

After yesterday’s practice and today’s opening round, I’ve re-affirmed the fact that to score well here, you need to hit it onto the fairway. I drove very well today, which resulted in my good score. At most holes, if you drive accurately, all you need is your short game to get it close.

I finished with a birdie on my final hole (the ninth), which was quite satisfying. Yesterday, I hit a two-iron followed by a rescue club and I missed the green. Today, I used a driver and I only had 80 yards in.  

I’m happy with my current position and I’ll be approaching tomorrow the same way, which is to drive the ball accurately onto the fairways.

Honey Baisoya (Ind) – First round 68 (-4)

Shooting four-under-par today was satisfying, especially after I played badly in the last two events in Chinese Taipei. I was struggling in my ball striking but after playing in the pro-am, I was telling my caddie that it has come back.

I’m typically a good ball striker and I love using my driver. I hit it straight off the tee box and I’m going very aggressive. I don’t think I have a problem with the tight fairways here on this golf course. But of course, being on the fairway is an advantage.

I sunk some very good putts today. It felt great to sunk a 30-footer for birdie at the ninth, in front of the public no less.

I’ll continue to go aggressive tomorrow. That was how I played when I was a junior golfer and an amateur and that worked well for me.

James Ryan Lam (Phi) – First round 68 (-4)

I’m feeling alright. I hit some bad wedges but I returned the favour by hitting some good drives. I found a lot of fairways and given myself opportunities for birdies.

When I noticed how the tight the course is, I thought, might as well just use drivers. There aren’t many penalties as long as you trust your game. Even though it would go into the trees, because the course is short I can punch it out and have a shorter shot to the green and make an up-and-down for par. But I only did that twice today. One of them I converted into a birdie.

I only missed four greens today, which played a big part to the good score. I don’t plan to over-focus. I have decided to let it go; just tee it up and hit it.

Muhammad Shabbir (Pak) – First round 68 (-4)

I’m feeling great at the moment. I hit the ball solidly and putted well. Almost every drive landed in the fairway. I’m very confident with my iron shots and most of them were very straight today. The only fairway I missed (the ninth), I bogeyed the hole. 68 is a good score.

Last tournament here last week, I totalled 16-under-par, which was excellent. I will try to play better than last week.

Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) – First round 69 (-3)

My tee shots today were very good and so were my approach shots, but my putting wasn’t working well today. I’m still feeling good to be able to shoot 69. I’ll be working on my short game as once that clicks in, I should be able to post better scores.

I’ll be heading to the putting greens today after lunch and hopefully, things will become better tomorrow.

Scores after round 1 of the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship being played at the par 72, 7032 Yards Karachi GC course (am - denotes amateur):
67 - Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA), Ahmad BAIG (am, PAK).
68 - Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA), Muhammad SHABBIR (PAK), James Ryan LAM (PHI), Honey BAISOYA (IND).
69 - Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA), Muhammad MUNIR (PAK), Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA), Sunny MASIH (PAK), Shahid JAVED (PAK).
70 - Nirun SAE-UENG (THA), Dilshad ALI (PAK), Imdad HUSSAIN (PAK), Matt KILLEN (ENG), KOH Deng Shan (SIN). 71 - Suttijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), Talib HUSSAIN (PAK), Amandeep Singh JOHL (IND), Taimoor KHAN (am, PAK), Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA), Javier GALLEGOS (ESP), Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA), Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN), Marcus BOTH (AUS), Muhammad NAEEM (PAK).
72 - Christopher BAUMGARTNER (AUT), Manuel TRAPPEL (AUT), Kamran SHAFIQ (PAK), Waheed BALOOCH (PAK), Christoffer BAUMANN (SWE), Settee PRAKONGVECH (THA), Digvijay SINGH (IND), Ashir MASIH (PAK), Nisar HUSSAIN (PAK), Chirat JIRASUWAN (THA), Niall TURNER (IRL), Matloob AHMED (PAK), Mitchell SLORACH (SIN), Amjad YOUSAF (PAK), M. DHARMA (IND), Moazzam SIDDIQUE (PAK).


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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), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.