Newport seizes single-stroke lead at Thailand Mixed in Petchaburi
Former Thailand PGA Tour champion Newport Laparojkit shined with a flawless 66, seizing the lead by a single stroke over Suttinin Panyo after round two of the thrilling 5 million baht Thailand Mixed by TrustGolf event at the Lakeview Resort and Golf Club in Petchaburi on Friday.
The Songkhla-based star showcased his golfing finesse by relying on pinpoint precision with his putter, notching up four birdies on the front nine and adding two more after the turn, all without a dreaded bogey in sight. With a remarkable 12-under-par 130 total after 36 holes, the TrustGolf Tour and WPGA of Australia co-sanctioned tournament has Newport in the driver's seat.
Reflecting on his impeccable round, the 26-year-old golfer remarked, "It was an impressive bogey-free round for me. I didn't face any three-putt challenges. I was able to stay true to my game plan throughout the day."
Newport, who secured a top 10 finish in the Thailand Mixed series earlier this year, continued, "The standout aspect of my performance today was my ability to play it safe, minimising errors and avoiding unnecessary risks. I maintained control over my game, even though I encountered a couple of tough holes due to some wayward chip shots. Thankfully, I managed to save par."
Newport has now firmly positioned himself as a frontrunner, setting his sights on Sunday's victory. Although he claimed a notable win on the Thailand PGA Tour in Lumphun last year, he admitted, "I'm not entirely satisfied with my form this year. There have been many tournaments that didn't yield favourable results, which is why I've been putting in extra effort to improve my iron and short game."
When asked about his game plan for the weekend rounds, Newport simply replied, "I don't have high expectations. I just want to have a good time and stick to my own game."
Meanwhile, Suttinon, with an impressive tally of nine birdies against just two bogeys, sits closely behind in second place at 11-under-par 131.
"I hit my driver well and produced good approach shots to set myself up for several birdie chances. If I can keep playing like this, I may stand a good chance in this tournament," said the 20-year-old player.
Chaing Mai’s Nutdanai Nuangjaknin fired a solid 67 to trail by one stroke at 10-under-par 132, followed by the rising star Vanchai Luangnitikul, who also carded a 67, and overnight co-leader Pimnipa Panthong with a 69, both at 133.
With a total of 65 players making the cut at even par 142, they are all set to compete fiercely for the title over 36 more holes on Sunday. The tournament's excitement is building to a crescendo at the Lakeview Resort and Golf Club.