Thitiphun thunders ahead #VenetianMacaoOpen

Thu 15 Oct 2015

Thitiphun thunders ahead #VenetianMacaoOpen

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Macao, October 15: Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong eclipsed the stars with a flying seven-under-par 64 to snatch the first round lead at the US$1 million Venetian Macao Open on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Thitiphun, who is seeking a first win on the Asian Tour, stormed home in 29 following a brilliant round which included eight birdies at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
Young Korean Jeunghun Wang and Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman shot 65s to trail by one while title holder Anirban Lahiri of India and 2013 champion Scott Hend of Australia were amongst those bunched on 66.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh
Thai ace Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who broke into the world’s top-50 for the first time in his career this week, battled to a 68 while countryman Thongchai Jaidee, who along with Lahiri had featured in the Presidents Cup last week, carded a 71. South African Ernie Els carded a disappointing 74.
The day belonged to Thitiphun, who needed only 21 putts to put himself atop the leaderboard.
“Today is a lucky day. I didn’t hit it good with my tee shots but I had a good short game. I could make a lot of birdies. This is a great round for me. I’m happy and feel fantastic with a 29 coming in,” said Thitiphun.
Such was his form with the short stick that he nearly holed out on his last hole, at the ninth, by sending a wedge shot from 91 yards out which found the cup but the ball bounced out. He converted the birdie from 10 feet.
“Last hole, my second shot came back out but I still can make birdie. I have worked a lot with my putting since last year, so it’s working now. The greens are very fast. But I can have a good feel.”
It is a case of “beware the injured golfer” as two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur enjoyed a bogey-free card to lie one back. He has to endure pain in the lower back due to a pinched nerve but with no expectation at all, Siddikur rose to the occasion.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
“I set my mind to take it easy and to protect my back. I have lost about 10 yards in my driving and I’m already a short hitter! But if I can putt like today, it’s okay. I’m happy as after a long time, I had a bogey free round,” said the 30-year-old.
Following his Presidents Cup debut where he was disappointed to not deliver a point for the Internationals, Lahiri bounced back in style with a five-birdie round to lie two back of the leader.
“It’s back to the usual I guess,” said the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader. “I think it was a solid round of golf. I misread a few. Hopefully I can make those six or eight footers through the rest of the week.”
Hend, who was runner-up to Lahiri last year, is now 37-under-par through his last nine rounds at the challenging Macau course. “The first few times I came here, I just didn’t want to come back as it killed me,” he reflected.
“But we’ve seem to found a way to play the course, where to hit it, what to do, and when to be aggressive I’m normally the sort of guy who will shoot seven birdies and throws in a double and a couple of bogeys. This means I’ve played some solid golf which is positive.”
The Venetian Macao Open is organised by the Macao Sport Development Board of Macao SAR Government and the Golf Association of Macau. Sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, The Venetian® Macao is supporting the iconic event as title sponsor for the fourth successive year.
For more details on the Venetian Macao Open, please visit: www.thevenetianmacaoopen.com.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
About Macao Sport Development Board of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government
Macao Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macao Sport Development Board organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macao is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
About The Venetian® Macao
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; TAIVEXMALO Day Hospital & Spa; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 350 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao – Sands China’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao has transformed a day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with more than 650 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.5 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, transportation offerings and well over 120 dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and lounges. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is a must-go destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of The Venetian® Macao; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach. And coming in 2016... the crowning achievement of Sheldon G. Adelson’s vision of the Cotai Strip… The Parisian Macao.
Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao… Be at the Centre of It All! For more information, please visit http://en.sandsresortsmacao.com.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiangolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour, and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages thousands of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment agency, to form WME | IMG.