"Thongchai, Kiradech notch opening day wins #DellMatchPlay"

Thu 24 Mar 2016

"Thongchai, Kiradech notch opening day wins #DellMatchPlay"

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March 24: Thai duo Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphirbarnrat produced rousing opening day victories at the WGC-Dell Match Play on Wednesday but the reigning and current Asian Tour number ones, Anirban Lahiri and Marcus Fraser, suffered losses.
World number 38 Thongchai edged out England’s Paul Casey, ranked 25th, 2 & 1 at the Austin Country Club while Kiradech, ranked 39th, defeated American Jimmy Walker, ranked 24th, by a similar margin.
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand
Last season’s Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Lahiri lost 6 & 5 to American Matt Kuchar while current Merit leader Fraser fell 4 & 3 to former Masters champion Zach Johnson.
Casey led Thongchai only once during their match which the Thai star took charge of with birdies on 10, 11 and 14 to lead 3-up. The three-time Asian Tour number one closed out the match with a par on 17.
“I enjoyed it. The front nine was close and he missed a couple of putts. I made good birdies on 11 and 14,” said the 46-year-old Thongchai, whose best finish at the Match Play was a quarter-final appearance in 2010.
He will face world number two Jason Day on Thursday, saying: “I’ll keep it shot by shot and stick to my routine. Putting will be important as the greens are challenging.”
Kiradech trailed Walker 2-up through six holes before winning the next three holes to reverse the momentum which he maintained on the back nine.
“It’s a good start. We both didn’t play well as the winds picked up. It’s a good way to start the first match. I told my caddie at the start of the day that whatever the result, this will be good experience. I come from a small country in Asia and to walk in the WGC and to win the first match, I’ve done great,” said Kiradech, who is fresh from a tied sixth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last weekend.
Kiradech will face big-hitting Dustin Johnson on Thursday while Fraser will take on Shane Lowry. Lahiri will tackle Justin Rose in a repeat showdown which he lost on the 19th hole at last year’s event.
Ends