Panuphol extends lead at The Championship

Fri 02 May 2014

Panuphol extends lead at The Championship

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Singapore, May 2: Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat did not wilt under the tropical heat and continued to take the lead after signing for a four-under-par 68 in the second round of The Championship at Laguna National on Friday.
Panuphol stayed ahead of the chasing pack with his two-day total of 13-under-par 131 even as Australia’s Scott Hend, Korean-American David Lipsky and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar put pressure on him by trailing closely by one shot at the US$1.5 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
India’s Rahil Gangjee, who is seeking to end a decade-long title drought on the Asian Tour, got back into the mix after signing for a 67 to share fifth place with Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun and Denmark’s Anders Hansen.
Despite the scorching heat at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club, Panuphol kept his cool to maintain his overnight lead by trading five birdies against one bogey.
“The weather is really hot today. The two birdies in my last three holes were nice to end off my round and that cooled me down a bit. I really wanted to make that long putt (on 18) to take the outright lead and I am happy I did it,” said Panuphol.
Panuphol has not featured in the weekend rounds since the start of the season and he is delighted with his new-found position on the leaderboard this week.
“It’s nice to put myself in a good position heading into the last two rounds. I rather stay up there than to be chasing the lead. I just want to grab my chance and not let it go,” said Panuphol.
Meanwhile Hend, a five-time Asian Tour winner, took advantage of his booming drives to remain in the hunt for another victory on the region’s premier Tour.
The Australian, who topped the Asian Tour driving distance category on four occasions in the last five years, was a figure of consistency as he overcame a four-shot deficit to hit the front in the morning.
“I always try to drive the ball as hard as I can ever since I took up golf. I think I am just lucky to have the right muscle-make up and flexibility. Driving distance is the key to playing well on this course,” said Hend.
While Hend was delighted with his position, he conceded that the heat would be another major factor in maintaining his good run at The Championship.
“I don’t think it was easy out there. The weather’s so hot! It’s hard to keep your composure in such playing conditions. It makes you lose concentration. You just need to drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated,” added Hend.
Still searching for his second victory on the Asian Tour, Gangjee credited his astute putting for a round which has brought him closer to winning again.
“My putting was very good today. The greens are really good here and I’ve been putting well for the last two rounds, especially today. I made a lot of long putts and I started to get the birdies going. The confidence came back and I hit the ball better,” said Gangjee, whose lone victory on the Asian Tour dates back to 2004 in China.
A total of 72 players made the cut which was set at four-under.
Leading scores after round 2 of the The Championship being played at the par 72, 7071 Yards Laguna National Golf Club (am - denotes amateur):
131 - Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 63-68.
132 - Scott HEND (AUS) 67-65, Felipe AGUILAR (CHI) 65-67, David LIPSKY (USA) 64-68.
133 - Anders HANSEN (DEN) 67-66, Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 66-67, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 66-67.
134 - Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 65-69, Kristoffer BROBERG (SWE) 65-69.
135 - Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-67, Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 64-71, Chris WOOD (ENG) 68-67, Robert-Jan DERKSEN (NED) 68-67, Chan KIM (USA) 67-68.
136 - Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 66-70, S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) 68-68, Sihwan KIM (KOR) 69-67, Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 67-69, Alexander LEVY (FRA) 70-66, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 66-70, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 65-71, KANG Sung-hoon (KOR) 68-68, Marc WARREN (SCO) 69-67.
Selected scores
137 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 67-70
139 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 68-71
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 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) 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 The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour’s innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2014 will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About Parallel Media Group
Parallel Media Group plc is a leading communications agency specialising in Sport, Entertainment and Media.  Founded in 1987 by its Chairman David Ciclitira and listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM since 2001.  During its 27 years of experience, Parallel Media Group has promoted over 45 events on the European Tour.  Parallel Media Group aims to provide its clients with world class professional service, combining local market knowledge with international business expertise to deliver a new vision for sport.
About Laguna National Golf & Country Club
A prominent golf club in the local and regional golf scene since its inauguration in 1993, Laguna National is one of Singapore’s premier golf and country clubs offering two eighteen-hole championship courses. A private Members’ Club, it also hosts corporate events through invitation and reference only, and offers food and beverage options as well as tennis facilities. Laguna National is elevating its game with a multi-million dollar facelift, which includes a full redesign and upgrade of the existing clubhouse. The construction of a branded boutique resort hotel is underway, with target completion at the end of 2015. Upon its launch, Laguna National will boast a state-of-the-art union of a world-class golf club, and 206-room and villa branded resort hotel with full facilities including a spa, a driving range, and a fitness center.
Over the years, Laguna National has won various local and international accolades. Its two eighteen-hole championship courses, namely World Classic and Masters Courses, have hosted Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Dougherty and Vijay Singh. The Masters Course served as home for the European Tour’s Singapore Masters from 2002 through 2007. The Club has since solidified its reputation further by receiving Tiger Woods on its World Classic Course for a private event during his maiden visit to Singapore in November 2011. In November 2012 Laguna National hosted the first ever overseas Korean LPGA Tour event and the inaugural Prudential Causeway Trophy in June 2013. The Prudential Causeway Trophy continues its second edition at Laguna National’s World Classic Course in June 2014.
About The Masters Course
The award-winning Masters Course is best known for hosting world class golfers such as Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Dougherty and Vijay Singh. From 2002 through 2007, the Masters Course served as host of the European Tour’s Singapore Masters.
Ranked amongst the top courses in the world by Golf Digest International and Asian Golf Monthly, the Masters Course is characterised by a beautiful parkland landscape as it administers a stern test of golf. The Masters Course is over 7109 yards from the Championship Tees with a par of 72. The course rating is 74.0 and has a slope rating of 144.