Thongchai slips to sixth place in Dubai

Sun 22 Nov 2015

Thongchai slips to sixth place in Dubai

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By V. Krishnaswamy
Dubai, November 21: Thongchai Jaidee is in the frame for another good finish despite a late stumble on the closing 18th hole at the DP World Tour Championship on Saturday.
The 46-year-old Thai star, a three-time Asian Tour number one,  held a share of sixth place alongside English pair Danny Willett (67) and Mathew Fitzpatrick (68).
Korea’s Byeonghun An (66) was tied fourth at 12-under while Kiradech Aphinbarnrat (73) was tied 28th and Anirban Lahiri (72), despite experiencing some discomfort in his knee, had three birdies in last five holes and was placed equal 35th.
Playing with former world number one and 2014 Race to Dubai champion Rory McIlroy, who shot a 65, Thongchai had a slow start with one bogey and no birdies in first six holes.
Then he landed an eagle with a 15-foot putt that gave him the momentum. Back-to-back birdies on 10th and 11th and another on 16th got him to four-under and the prospect of a closing birdie on 18th also loomed large.
But he misread his putt and dropped a bogey, while most in the top-15 players birdied the hole. He slid to 11-under but hoped a good start on Sunday will give him a chance to make a run.
“I misread the line on 18th and my putting has not been what it should be this week,” said Thongchai, who has had one win, two seconds and a third place, besides two other top-10s this season. “But I am enjoying myself and it has been a good year.”
Lahiri experienced some discomfort with his knee, where an old injury has flared up. He admitted, “It was a battle all the day. It was a weird day, as I struggled a bit with my knee. I don’t think it is bad, but I have to go and see it, when I get back. I have one more start (Hero World Challenge) in two weeks and then I will get some good rest and work on my rehab.”
Already a three-time winner this season, Andy Sullivan, who has had at least a share of the lead since the first day, did well to find two late birdies on 15th and 17th after a stretch of seven pars from eighth to 14th.
The Englishman, who started the week with a pair of 66s added a four-under 68 to get to 16-under and will go into final day one shot ahead of the 2014 Race to Dubai winner, Rory McIlroy (65).