Spaniard Pigem Soaring High

Thu 28 Mar 2013

Spaniard Pigem Soaring High

Chiangmai, March 28: Carlos Pigem turned his attention to golf after breaking a few bones in football and it is a decision he does not regret after getting off to a flying start in the opening round of the Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT on Thursday.

The Spaniard is among a pool of young guns which includes Thailand’s Pawin Ingkhapradit and Jazz Janewattananond, who are tied on four-under-par 68 at the inaugural US$750,000 full field Asian Tour event.

“I’m really happy with how I played. I played good from tee-to-green. It was very good that I finished with birdie on the last,” said Pigem.

The 22-year-old Pigem, who earned his Asian Tour card as an amateur at the Qualifying School in Thailand earlier this year, is enjoying a rather successful rookie season after finishing tied 24th and 21st at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open and SAIL-SBI Open respectively.

“I like the courses, the weather and the golf organisation by the Asian Tour. I saw that Javi Colomo did well in Asia last year so I decided to try it out. I’m happy I followed him. He did really good things last year and it was a good opportunity for me.

“I played well in Myanmar and India. I made the cut there and I’m happy. I’ll try to do something better in this tournament,” he said.

Coming from a football crazy country, it is no surprise Pigem started playing football during his younger days as a goalkeeper which resulted in a few broken bones!

“I started playing football when I was six years old! I was a goalkeeper and I broke some bones in my finger a couple of times so my father said stop and start playing golf,” added Pigem, who favourite football club is Barcelona FC.

The unheralded Pawin, 21, is the surprise package on the first day of the Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT when he outgunned multiple Major winner Ernie Els, who shot a 69.

“I’m very happy. I hit many fairways and greens. I putted very well. I only had one three putt (bogey on the 12th hole) so that was good. It is okay for today. Six birdies on this golf course is very good.

“When I first practised on this golf course I thought it was very difficult but there was no wind today,” said Pawin, who graduated from the Boonchu Golf Academy before turning professional three years ago.

He is determined to better his tied fifth result at the SAIL-SBI Open in India earlier this month. “My game is okay and my confidence is very high at the moment so I hope to play better.”