Prom and Karlberg lead with fine 65

Thu 16 Jan 2014

Prom and Karlberg lead with fine 65

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Hua Hin, Thailand, January 16: Hua Hin native Prom Meesawat showed steely resolve to end an eight-year winless drought by storming ahead with a seven-under-par 65 to grab a share of the first round lead with Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg at the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin on Thursday.
Newly-engaged Karlberg also found more bliss in his life as he enjoyed a commanding start to the season-ending King’s Cup, which recently inked a five-year agreement with the Asian Tour.
Family and friends of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang could expect a big hongbao (red packet) during Chinese New Year when he posted a 66 to trail the co-leaders by one alongside three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que of the Philippines at the Black Mountain Golf Club.
After coming narrowly close to winning his secRikard Karlberg of Swedenond Asian Tour title with two play-off defeats in the Philippines and Hong Kong late last year, Prom is upbeat about returning to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2006.
The Thai also knows he needs nothing less than a win to earn his place with Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM set to tee off in Malaysia in March.
“I’ve already got those two play-off defeats out of my mind and I’ve been telling myself to concentrate on this week and the new season so that I can get my second win,” said Prom.
“The EurAsia Cup is a big event and I want to play in it. So there’re many things to play for this week,” added Prom.
Despite the gusty conditions in the morning, the 29-year-old put his playing experience in Europe to good effect as he marked his card with two eagles, five birdies and two bogeys.
“Actually such conditions are not really new to me as I’ve played in similar conditions before.  I had a good experience playing in Europe with the strong winds last year. They really helped me with my club selection which showed in my score today,” said Prom.
“Those two eagles also helped me get a low score but there are still three more days to go,” added Prom.
Prom, who is nicknamed the ‘Big Dolphin’ due his burly physique and because he hails from the coastal town of Hua Hin, does not have to look far for support as his legion of fans including his wife is keenly following his progress this week.
“It’s a good week for me as I get to stay with my dad in Hua Hin, sleep on my own bed and have my family following and supporting me. I’ll try to play well and make them and also the Thai people happy. I’ll keep trying my best,” said Prom
Lin Wen Tang of Chinese Taipei Lin Wen Tang of Chinese Taipei
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Karlberg, who recently got engaged to his long-time girlfriend, found further joy on the picturesque Black Mountain Golf Club, which is also the Swede’s home course.
“Everything’s going so well in my life especially with my engagement to Pernilla and I just want to enjoy my golf now,” said Karlberg.
Karlberg’s only blemish came at the par-four 15th after he double-bogeyed but seven birdies and one eagle kept the 27-year-old well positioned for his third win on the region’s premier Tour.
“It was so windy but I stayed in the game even though I had a double-bogey. I did well to finish off the round as I hit some great shots and holed many putts coming in. So I’m very pleased with my result,” said the Swede.
Meanwhile Lin, who is playing at the Black Mountain Golf Club for the first time, believes a relaxed approach will be the key to a bountiful week.
“I haven’t played on this course before but I was telling my wife how nice it would be if I can come over and earn some money. We’ll then have more money to give away as hongbaos especially with Chinese New Year coming up,” quipped Lin.
Starting on the back-nine 10th, Lin dropped his only shot on the par-five 13th. He recovered well with birdies on holes 15 and 17 to turn in 35.
Despite having to contend with the swirling winds which were picking up in the afternoon, the six-time Asian Tour winner showed his class by returning home safely with another five birdies in his inward-nine.
“The winds were not really the problem as we experience similar conditions back home. The challenging part was the fast greens. It’s really important to control your shots well and I’m glad I managed to do just that today,” said the 39-year-old.
Having described his 2013 season of one of the most consistent ones he ever enjoyed, Que continued to build on his form into the New Year with another assured performance.
Like Lin, the affable Filipino only blemish was a bogey on the 13th hole. But Que, who is accompanied by his coach this week, would make up for that by marking his card with seven birdies.
Angelo Que of the Philippines Angelo Que of the Philippines
“I putted really well. I holed a lot of putts and I’m hitting the ball really good. The wind died down on the last few holes but it was quite windy early in my round. I was expecting strong wind so I know how to prepare for it,” said Que who is expecting his second child in May this year.
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.
Leading scores after round 1 of the King's Cup Golf Hua Hin being played at the par 72, 7386 Yards Black Mountain GC course (a- denotes amateur):
65 - Prom MEESAWAT (THA), Rikard KARLBERG (SWE).
66 - Angelo QUE (PHI), LIN Wen-tang (TPE).
68 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA), Kieran PRATT (AUS), Chapchai NIRAT (THA).
69 - Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), KIM Gi-whan (KOR), Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA), Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Adam GROOM (AUS), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), MO Joong-kyung (KOR), Ryan MCCARTHY (AUS).
70 - Alex CEJKA (GER), LAM Chih Bing (SIN), LEE Sung (KOR), Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND), CHAN Yih-shin (TPE), Kittiroj CHANTHAROTTHAI (THA), S.S.P CHOWRASIA (IND), Simon YATES (SCO), Johan EDFORS (SWE), Fredrik ANDERSSON HED (SWE), Kodai ICHIHARA (JPN), Marcus BOTH (AUS), David LUTTERUS (AUS), Poom SAKSANSIN (THA).
71 - Rahil GANGJEE (IND), Andrew DODT (AUS), Scott BARR (AUS), HU Mu (CHN), Richard T. LEE (CAN), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Carlos PIGEM (ESP), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN), Mardan MAMAT (SIN), Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN).
Selected scores
72 - Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI), Scott HEND (AUS)
74 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA)
 
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