Friday, November 15, 2019

Jazz strikes back to trail Fitzpatrick by six

Nov 02. 2019
Jazz Janewattananond
Jazz Janewattananond
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By THE NATION

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Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand rallied back with a three-under-par 69 to move within six shots of second round leader Matthew Fitzpatrick of England at the WGC HSBC Champions on Friday.

 

The Thai opened with a 70 in his maiden World Golf Championships event but held his own in the company of several of the world’s best players by signing for a two-day total of five-under-par 139.

Jazz is among a group of nine players which includes Major winners Bubba Watson of the United States and England’s Justin Rose who will head into the weekend tied for 11th.

“The course played a bit tougher than yesterday. I left a couple out there, but all in all, still a pretty good round. I’ve put myself in a good position to move up the leaderboard for sure. It's a good start to a really good week. I love it (maiden WGC event),” said the Thai No 1 who broke into top-100 on the OWGR after winning his third Asian Tour title in Singapore in January and marked his career-best ranking when he rose to 52nd position following his fourth victory in Korea in June.

“It's my first time and I really enjoy it. I'm looking forward to play more in the future. Even though there's no cut, you want to finish high up the leaderboard. You're playing against the best players and you just want to prove to yourself that you can match up to them too. I'm just trying to get my game to the next level and work on the stuff I'm not really that good. For now, putting is a big key to improve my game, so that's what I've been working on,” added Jazz or Atiwit.

Fitzpatrick will take a one-shot lead over world number two Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after he signed for a 67 at the Sheshan International Golf Club. 

“On the back-nine I struggled with the driver a little coming in. But I putted fantastic, as good as I've putted all year. I think the way this golf course is, if you're on the wrong side, it makes a difficult up-and-down. The rough is tough. The greens are firm. They are slopey as well. So, it was definitely more difficult today. It's so important to hit the fairways here, because you miss them, you've either got a terrible lie and hacking it out or you've got a good lie and getting a flyer. It's a big key to hitting fairways around here and if you can keep doing it, you'll give yourself more chances,” the Briton said.

The 25-year-old is looking to extend an impressive record of having won in every season since he graduated from the European Tour Qualifying School in 2014 and is also chasing his first victory in a World Golf Championships event.

Li Haotong, who became the first ever Chinese to hold the opening round lead, slipped to a share of sixth place after a 72.

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