Prom and Karlberg set early pace

Thu 16 Jan 2014

Prom and Karlberg set early pace

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Hua Hin, Thailand January 16: Hua Hin native Prom Meesawat showed his steely resolve to end his eight-year winless drought on the Asian Tour after storming ahead with a seven-under-par 65 to grab a share of the morning 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.
India’s Anirban Lahiri rued a costly double-bogey on the seventh hole to slip four shots back of Prom and Karlberg after he returned with a 69 at the Black Mountain Golf Club.
After coming narrowly close to winning his second 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.
“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.
HUA-HIN-160114-RIKARD KARLBERG-001Despite 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. They really helped me with my club selection and it has definitely helped me a lot,” said Prom.
“Those two eagles really 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.
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 but I did well to finish off the round. I hit some great shots and holed many putts coming in. So I’m very pleased with my result,” said the Swede.
Starting on the back-nine 10th, Lahiri was cruising towards another promising start with five birdies on holes 16, 17, 18, three and five.
However, a miscalculated shot on the seventh ruined an otherwise perfect day for Lahiri who is also seeking to earn his place with Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM set to tee off in Malaysia in March.HUA-HIN-160114-ANIRBAN LAHIRI-002
“I’m obviously disappointed to finish the way I did but I think I played really well. I probably only missed two shots all day, on number seven where I hit the ball in the wrong spot, otherwise it would have been a flawless round,” said Lahiri.
“I was in the fairway trap and kind of over calculated the wind and hit it over the back and got my ball plugged in the downslope of the greenside bunker. It was impossible to hit a clean shot from there and hit my next shot into the other greenside bunker!” added the Indian.
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.