Revitalised Prayad shines in Japan

Fri 26 Sep 2014

Revitalised Prayad shines in Japan

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Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, September 26: Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng showed his affinity for Japan once again by taking prime spot on the leaderboard after carding a second round two-under-par 69 at the 150 million Yen (approximately US$1.5 million)  Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup on Friday.
The Thai ace, who is an eight-time Asian Tour winner and four-time champion in Japan, underlined his credentials as another likely contender for the Japanese showpiece with a two-day total of four-under-par 138 at the Ohtone Country Club.
Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun and China’s Liang Wen-chong trailed Prayad by one after compiling similar 139 totals at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
Prayad started his round three shots off the lead but quickly got back into the mix by trading five birdies against three bogeys in the morning.
Apart from the therapeutic effects of the Japanese hot springs, the 48-year-old believes his experience in Japan has provided him with the competitive advantage.
“The secret to my success is the Onsen here! I feel revitalise after every visit. That’s why I’ve a good track record in Japan.
The greens in Japan are pretty much similar and over the years, I’ve learnt how to control my speed and putt well in such conditions here. Most of the golf courses are straight and narrow and I know accuracy is important. I only missed two fairways yesterday and today I missed just one,” smiled Prayad.
Having been forced to retire in Malaysia last week, Baek roared back to life with a performance that could bring him closer to his breakthrough on the region’s premier Tour.
“I’m happy with my score as it’s hard to put the ball on the fairway especially on this golf course. I missed several birdie chances on the back-nine but overall still pretty pleasing,” said Baek.
The Thai-based Korean knows he has to tame the lighting- fast greens before harbouring any hopes of lifting his maiden Asian Tour title.
“In Japan, the greens are really fast and I find it difficult to read the greens. I’ll try to concentrate on my tee shots and improve on my putting over the weekend.
Although it is still not perfect, it’s getting better. My short game is also improving and that’s good,” said Baek.
Meanwhile Liang is also drawing from the positives of last week’s tied-third finish in Sapporo in hope of lifting his first title in Japan this week.
“I’m feeling confident and last week’s result has also helped to boost it. I’m striking the ball well, which is important on this golf course.
I have not won in Japan before but I know that victory will eventually come if I continue to take it step-by-step and not put too much pressure on myself,” said Liang, a three-time Asian Tour winner.
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), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.