Thongchai's 69 sets up top-10 bid #TheOpen

Sun 17 Jul 2016

Thongchai's 69 sets up top-10 bid #TheOpen

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Troon, Scotland, July 16: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee matched his lowest score at The Open in seven years with a two-under-par 69 on Saturday to leave himself with an outside shot at earning a first top-10 in the world’s oldest Major.
The 46-year-old triple Asian Tour number one concluded his third round at Royal Troon in style with birdies over two of his last three holes for a tournament aggregate of one-over-par 214 and tied 25th position.
“I played well and I’ll try to finish strong tomorrow. I’m just trying to keep playing better. I don’t mind what position I finish tomorrow. If I can jump a bit higher, that’s good. I’ll just go out to play my best,” said Thongchai, whose best finish at The Open was tied 13th in 2009.
Chilly and windy conditions greeted players but with rain staying away after Friday’s mayhem, Thongchai managed a solid outing with five birdies against three bogeys.
“Conditions were better compared to yesterday which I also played good. I made mistakes on 11 yesterday, flew over the green with the wrong club and made double bogey and another bogey at next hole,” he recalled.
“Putting has been difficult as some greens are slow due to moisture and it can be difficult. Today was also difficult but the good thing is that it didn’t rain. Yesterday was amazing. You needed to have a strong mind,” said the former paratrooper.
Soomin Lee of Korea Soomin Lee of Korea
Thongchai offered some advice to young compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai, who missed the halfway cut after shooting an 81 on Friday to add to his opening 71.
“Phachara is still very young. He’s never played in conditions like this. He’s only 17 and it’s a good learning experience,” said Thongchai.
“The first time I came here, I shot in the 80s. It’s good learning for the future. I’ll be happy to play more often with him in practice rounds and guide him. He’s a very good player and has a lot of promise.”
Korea’s Soomin Lee, who made the cut in his first Major, shot a third round 75 to languish at the bottom end of the leaderboard but he was still proud of his performance.
“Today wasn’t very good. I don’t know links course, not yet so I’m trying to learn every day. When I’m in Europe, I’ll need to play more low shots and more controlled shots. I’m just excited to be here. Very proud to be at The Open,” said the 22-year-old, who is currently fifth on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
“First time yesterday I had to play in such difficult conditions. I didn’t know how to play. But I was happy to make the cut.”
Sweden's Henrik Stenson leads the Open by one shot from Phil Mickelson of the United States on 201.
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