Supakorn Sets Early Pace

Thu 29 Nov 2012

Supakorn Sets Early Pace

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Khon Kaen, Thailand, November 29: Thailand’s Supakorn Utaipat took full advantage of his second ever start on the Asian Tour by securing the morning round lead with an eight-under-par 64 in the first round of the King’s Cup on Thursday.
Australia’s Rick Kulacz is tied for second alongside defending champion Udorn Duangdecha and Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand after he signed for a 65 at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang showed signs of returning to his best form when he posted a 66 to take a share of fifth place with Chile’s Felipe Aguilar at the US$500,000 event which is the third last event on the 2012 Asian Tour Schedule.
Having only turned professional this year, Supakorn was delighted with his encouraging start to his title ambitions at the King’s Cup.
The burly 22-year-old teed up for his first Asian Tour event at the Queen’s Cup in June but failed to make it into the weekend rounds when he missed the cut by six shots.
Five months later, Supakorn is ready for another shot at glory aided by a new set of clubs in his bag.
“I changed my entire bag starting with the driver, putter and irons. This is a new set of golf clubs that I’ve and I’m happy with where it has got me today,” said Supakorn.
“I’ve played on this golf course on several occasions previously and this is my best result so far. Hopefully, I can carry this good form for the next three rounds,” added the Thai.
Since winning his second Asian Tour title in Malaysia three years, Kulacz’s best result this season was a tied-23rd finish in Thailand.
While the Australian was happy to be featured atop the leaderboard, he cautioned against getting ahead of himself as his position will not count for anything if he does not maintain his consistency this week.
“I played pretty well today so it’s quite nice to shoot a low score for once. I took my chances when I had them and I’m pleased with how things have turned out,” said Kulacz.
Since winning his second Asian Tour title in 2009, the Australian has been enduring an indifferent form which has seen him dropped down the pecking order to 97th place on the Order of Merit.
With the mark set at top-60 for players to retain their full playing rights for next season, Kulacz is aware of the work cut out for him.
“I probably shouldn’t be in the position that I’m in and it’s my own fault that I’m in there now as I didn’t make too much cash this year. I’m way down the order of merit but that stuff will take care of itself if I just try to score as good as I can,” said Kulacz.
Lin believes he is rediscovering his form that led him to his career-best year in 2008 where he finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit as well as 49th place on the world rankings then.
“Actually I haven’t been faring that badly if you take into account my results at home. It’s just my results outside of Chinese Taipei that I need to improve on,” said Lin.
“But considering my return from injury and that I haven’t been playing as much as I would like to at the start of the year, I’m doing okay,” added the five-time Asian Tour winner.
The King’s Cup is making its return after a year’s absence following the floods in Thailand last year and is already enjoying a welcome revival with its prize fund increasing to US$500,000 this year.
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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.