Thaworn Strikes It Hot

Wed 05 Sep 2012

Thaworn Strikes It Hot

Shah Alam, Selangor, September 5: Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant renewed his love of playing in Malaysia when he shot an opening round of six-under-par 66 for the clubhouse lead at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Wednesday.

Thaworn, who has the joint record of 13 Asian Tour titles including two victories in Malaysia, traded four birdies and one eagle against one bogey for a one shot lead at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, a venue which he won on in 2001.

The reigning Asian Development Tour Order of Merit winner Jonathan Moore of the United States recovered from two early bogeys with a 67 to lie in second place while Javi Colomo of Spain was a further two shots off the lead at the RM1.2 million (approximately US$39,000) Asian Tour event.

Highly rated Arnond Vongvanij and Prom Meesawat of Thailand, currently fifth on the Order of Merit, were bunched up in tied fourth place on 69 with Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, Bangladeshi Zamal Hossain and Jhonnel Ababa of the Philippines.

Thaworn is enjoying a rich vein of form this season where he won in the Queen’s Cup on home soil earlier this year and claimed two runner-up finishes in Korea and Indonesia.

He credited his splendid form on a relaxed attitude and vigorous training during the off season.

“Now, I’m very relaxed. I come to play, see good friends. I’m 46 now, no longer a young boy. No longer 36, no longer have good power,” said the 2005 Asian Tour number one.

“I practice too much. I wake up at 5.20 every morning, my wife will ask me “Where are you going?” I will go to the golf course and then come back at 8.10 and at 9, I’ll go out to the course again. I like doing so, I like to play golf. If I don’t play golf or practice, I get very tired and I’ll be sleeping at home,” added the 45-year-old.

Playing from the back nine, Thaworn was delighted to eagle the par five 12th hole when his three wood approach shot hit the pin and landed close to the hole.

“I’ve played many times on this golf course and I’ve never hit that green in two on. Made a lot of putts and then made birdie on 18 from a downhill putt again. It is a difficult course this year. Downhill putts are really fast,” said Thaworn.

Moore bogeyed the first two holes but steadied ship with eight birdies against one bogey after a joke with his wife and caddy Claire eased the nerves.

“It is always good to be close to Thaworn Wiratchant. When you are near him, you know you are doing good. I was thankful to shoot my score. I was a little frustrated because it wasn’t how you start.

“But we were talking (with Claire) on the 12th hole and I told her ‘bad start, good finish’ and she said, ‘we have another 70 holes to go. I’m not scared are you?’ That kind off helped and we went on from there to get the birdies,” said Moore.