By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
Propelled by five birdies with an eagle on the 18th against a lone bogey, the 25yearold surged into contention in the ADT Tour co-sanctioned event with a 12 under-par-198.
“I had great tee shots but the most important thing is I putted really well. I feel more confident about my game and have fewer worries compared to the past,” said the winner of the All Thailand event in Khon Kaen in early June.
Last year the 25-year-old player was fed up with his game, as he let the butterflies in his stomach affect his composure, leading to dismal results for several months. But after teaming up with new coach Pitipong Kongvanich in January, the Thai-Hong Kong player turned over a new leaf and got better results, including his maiden All Thailand crown at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
“I’ve changed my approach going onto the greens and enjoy golf much more than I used to. Even when I’m in the lead, I don’t think about the victory as the margin is not big and the other guys can catch up at any time. I will still stick to my game plan,” said the big-hitter.
Despite not being very experienced, the 18yearold never showed any sign of nerves, carding a 65 for a share of the leader’s board for the first time after turning professional in 2015.
“I did exactly what I had to do by remaining solid with my irons and made good putts,” said the Nakhon Pathom-based golfer, looking for his first pro win after settling for second twice on the All Thailand Tour in 2015 and last year on an ADT event in Singapore.
“I feel normal even if it’s my first time in the lead. I will have no problem teeing off in the last squad with Jakraphan as we are quite close.”
A stroke behind was Tirawat Kaewsiribandit who shot the day’s lowest of 62 for a total 11underpar 129.
“I like the course conditions, which makes it easy for me to shoot good scores and that’s why I always have good results here,” said Tirawat, who finished runner-up here in 2015.
Overnight leader Brett Munson of the US had to settle for an even par 70 at nine under overall. A total of 52 players made the cut at two under-par-138 without defending champion Thanyakorn Krongpha who signed off with 141.