Powerful Kiradech feeling at 'home'

Fri 25 Oct 2013

Powerful Kiradech feeling at 'home'

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Kuala Lumpur, October 26: Exciting Thai talent Kiradech Aphibarnrat stayed firmly in contention at the star-studded CIMB Classic on Friday, shooting a second round three-under-par 69 at a golf course he calls ‘home’.
The long-hitting Kiradech nearly chipped in for eagle on the 18th hole for for an eight-under-par 136 total to trail Major champion Keegan Bradley by five shots at the US$7 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR.
The current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader was quick out off the blocks, opening with three straight birdies before carding 10 consecutive pars including a chip-in save on the eighth hole. His only bogey came on 14.
After outshooting playing partners Phil Mickelson, a five-time Major champion, and title holder Nick Watney over two rounds, Kiradech vowed to stay on an even keel in his bid for a second victory at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course after winning the Malaysian Open here in March.
“After making the three birdies on the start, I thought maybe I can get my second win on this golf course. Then I missed some birdie chances on the back nine,” said the burly Kiradech.
“The way I’m hitting and the way I’m striking the ball is still great. But sometimes I forget about the score and I missed a couple of birdies. I enjoyed playing with these two top players (Mickelson and Watney). I can’t say I played better because maybe Phil wasn’t used to the type of grass and weather. He is still a world class player,” added the 24-year-old.
Kiradech has slowly built a large following of supporters following his victory in Malaysia earlier this year. After remaining as the top Asian in the stellar field, which includes 18 players in the world’s top-50, his army of fans is swelling thanks to his all-out attacking style of play.
“Every time I play here, I feel like I’m home. I guess it is due to the weather and a lot of fans follow me and are cheering me. That gives me a lot of power to play in this country. I love to come here and I always look forward to playing here,” smiled the likeable Thai.
“I will still stick with my game plan.  I don't want to attack too much because this type of greens this week is quite firm and the pin position is more difficult. If you attack too much, you will get in a lot of trouble. I just try to play easy golf and try to give myself a lot of chances to putt.
“I’ll just try to play my best golf. I don't want to force myself to win this event because it's not that easy to play with all the top players.  I will try to finish high and focus on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.”
Asian Tour honorary member K.J. Choi of Korea, who is an eight-time PGA TOUR winner, shot a 71 after struggling with his tee shots under the humid conditions. He was tied 13th with Shiv Kapur of India, Wade Ormsby of Australia, Americans Bill Haas of the United States and Graham Delaet of Canada.
“My tee shots were a little shaky, and the putting didn’t really go the way that I saw or that I read them. I’m going to rest. I’m just sweating so much today and it is giving me a headache,” said Choi.
“I feel like I want to go out there and practice right now. But if I do, it is going to make things worse on my body so I’ll just take it easy. (Tomorrow) I'm just going to concentrate on the putting line. The other parts of my game I think are pretty solid,” he added.
For more information on the CIMB Classic, log on to our website at www.cimbclassic.com, or join us on Facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/CIMBClassic.
Ends.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately US$18.4 billion as at 31 Jul 2013 and over 42,000 employees located in 17 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 945 million households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2012, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $130 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.86 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Supplier), 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.