Wi fires superb 62 for early lead #HoTramOpen

Thu 03 Dec 2015

Wi fires superb 62 for early lead #HoTramOpen

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Ho Tram, Vietnam, December 3: Korea’s Charlie Wi rolled back the years to establish a course record of nine-under-par 62 for the early first round lead at the inaugural US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open on Thursday.
The 43-year-old Wi produced a superb 10-birdie round, including five-on-the-trot, at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course to open up a two-shot lead from Thai duo Danthai Boonma and 18-time champion Thaworn Wiratchant in what is Vietnam’s richest sporting event.
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, fighting to make Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup against Europe next month, enhanced his chances with a 65 which was matched by reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States.
World number 12 Sergio Garcia of Spain posted a 66 to stay within striking reach of the early pacesetter.
Wi is a seven-time winner on the Asian Tour and featured on the PGA TOUR for numerous years before losing his full status. With ideal conditions in the morning, he took full advantage of the accessible pins to put himself in pole position at the Ho Tram Open.
“When I showed up here on Tuesday and played the first few holes, I thought ‘Wow, this is a tough golf course.’ The good thing about this course is the wind is always constant so after playing a few rounds here, the players will get a feel of the course. The wind didn’t really pick up like how it can here (in the afternoon) so I took advantage of the situation,” said Wi.
He didn’t miss a single fairway and needed only 25 putts to give himself a chance of ending a nine-year trophy drought.
“I didn’t know I had five birdies in a row. I usually mark my scorecard after nine holes or so. When I saw the birdies, I told myself I’m on a good run. I hit the ball really close. If you drive the ball on the fairway, you will have a lot of short irons into the green,” he said.
“What really got me going was on number seven. I hit my nine iron to about 25-feet and holed that. That was a surprise because I wanted to get it close and move on.”
Sergio Garcia of Spain Sergio Garcia of Spain
Thai teenager Danthai, who broke through for his first Asian Tour title in Singapore last month, kept up his good form, finishing his morning round with five straight birdies from the fourth hole to trail by two.
“I hit it straight and putted very well especially on the first nine. I bogeyed on hole one but bounced back with five birdies. My putter was on fire. The course is a little bit short but it is very windy,” he said.
Thaworn, who will turn 49 later this month, fired his lowest round of the season to take a sniff at a potential 19th Tour victory. The double Asian Tour number one rolled in a few lengthy putts to feature on the Ho Tram Open leaderboard.
“Very happy. Everything worked. Putting was really good. I was making some long putts, holed about four long ones. Eagle on five, I hit driver and three wood to about eight yards and holed the putt. Condition was good for scoring,” said the Thai veteran.
“I’m happy with my season, getting old now. Every week make cut, it’s very good for me.”
Garcia, looking to end his 2015 campaign with a first title, was happy with his opening effort which included six birdies against a lone bogey.
“It was a little bit breezy but wasn’t too bad and a lot of the pins were down on some of the holes. The greens were perfect so you could make some putts although I felt that I left a few out there. Overall it was quite solid,” he said.