Prom braces for tough weekend after holding lead

Fri 17 Jan 2014

Prom braces for tough weekend after holding lead

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Hua Hin, Thailand, January 17: Thailand’s Prom Meesawat is not ready to dream about victory just yet despite maintaining his share of the lead with Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg at the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin on Friday.
Like Prom who posted a second round one-under-par 71, Karlberg also continued his stranglehold at the Asian Tour season-ending event by signing for a two-day total of eight-under-par 136 at the Black Mountain Golf Club, which is his home course.
42-year-old Mo Joong-kyung of Korea showed he is capable of matching his younger rivals stride for stride when he got back into the groove with a 68 to trail the leaders by one in third place
Rikard Karlberg of Sweden Rikard Karlberg of Sweden
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Japan’s Kodai Ichihara gave himself a glimmer of hope of saving his Tour card after a 68 gave him a share of fourth place alongside Australia’s Adam Groom, Kieran Pratt, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang as well as Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol and Pavit Tangkamolprasert.
Despite dominating the King’s Cup for two consecutive days, Prom knows he has to remain patient if he wants to end his eight-year title drought and make up for the heartbreak of losing in two play-offs in the Philippines and Hong Kong late last year.
“It’s going to be a tough weekend as the door is still open for everyone. I just want to maintain my composure and get an under-par score for the next two days,” said Prom.
While he has cast one eye on victory this week, Prom is also aware he has a fighting chance to seal his place with Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM which will tee off in Malaysia in March.
“I know I still have an outside chance of earning my place in the EurAsia Cup and if I do well this week, the result will basically take care of that,” said Prom.
Karlberg staged a late comeback with two birdies in his last three holes to deny home favourite Prom the outright lead.
The two-time Asian Tour winner struggled under gusty conditions and was two-over in his second round after 12 holes. However, a birdie on the 13th managed to restore some measure of confidence for the Swede.
“It was a horrible round for 12 holes. I really struggled. I didn’t play well and the putts didn’t fall,” said Karlberg.
Mo Joong-kyung of Korea Mo Joong-kyung of Korea
“But the wind came down the right way on 17 and 18 and I was glad I finished off well,” added Karlberg.
Meanwhile Mo’s disciplined fitness regime paid off when he stayed in touch with the leaders.
While age might have caught up with the Korean, Mo is determined to show he can still compete at the highest level.
“I’m getting old! All the young guys are coming up so it is getting harder to win. I’ve been doing weight training in the last three or four weeks. My body feels pretty good so hopefully I can keep it for the whole year,” said Mo.
“I work out about three times a week for two hours a day. During the days when I don’t work out, I will go for a run for about five kilometres. I need to do all these to keep up with all these young guys!” quipped Mo.
Mo knows he has a realistic chance of returning to the winner’s circle and is determined to stamp his mark after enjoying a flawless round highlighted by four birdies at the picturesque Black Mountain Golf Club.
“I have a chance now so I’ll try my best.  I’m very happy because I didn’t make a bogey in this wind. The conditions on the golf course are very challenging because of the wind. You need to keep the ball flight low here,” said Mo, whose last win on the region’s premier Tour dates back to 2008 in Thailand.
Ichihara, who is battling to save his Tour card, did not get off to the best of starts when he made two bogeys in his first three holes.
The 31-year-old got back into the mix with four birdies before turning in 34.
He stumbled again on the par-three third with another bogey but would redeem himself with another three birdies on holes four, six and seven to return home safely in 68.
“It was a good round. I struck the ball and putted very well. Most of my birdies were inside five feet except for one which was inside 10 feet.
My season has been okay but I don’t have a good ranking on the Order of Merit. Ho
Kodai Ichihara of Japan Kodai Ichihara of Japan
pefully that will change after this week,” said Ichihara.
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 2 of the King's Cup Golf Hua Hin being played at the par 72, 7386 Yards Black Mountain GC course (a- denotes amateur):
136 - Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65-71, Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 65-71.
137 - MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 69-68.
138 - Adam GROOM (AUS) 69-69, Kodai ICHIHARA (JPN) 70-68, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 69-69, Kieran PRATT (AUS) 68-70, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 66-72, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 69-69.
139 - Johan EDFORS (SWE) 70-69, Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 68-71, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 72-67, Alex CEJKA (GER) 70-69.
Selected scores
140 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 69-71
144 - Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-73
+2 (146) was the final cut, 71 players made the cut
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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