Play in the 1st round of The Championship at Laguna National has been suspended, on the European Tour, in Singapore. Clubhouse leader is Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.
Panuphol Pittayarat / Getty Images
Panuphol shot a bogey free -9 under par 63 to lead The Championship Laguna National, he is currently ranked at 451st in the world. He has missed the last three cuts on Tour, and did not see this sudden burst of form coming;
”I didn’t see it coming, but it did come, I’m feeling good about my game right now. I was just trying to hit straight out there. I managed to hole a lot of putts and a lot of them were unexpected.”
There are four players tied in second place at -8 under par, following their opening rounds of 64. They are; David Lipsky, Byung-jun Kim, Quincy Quek and Scott Jamieson.
Scott’s maiden European Tour win came at last year’s Nelson Mandela Championship, which was shortened to 36 holes due to extremely bad weather. He was to win a proper 72 hole tournament to silence the doubters about his ability;
“You want to win every week but it would be nice if the next one was over four rounds, and if anyone had any questions then it would have answered them. I don’t feel like that myself, given that we knew it was only going to be a two round event and I won in a play-off. But to win over four rounds would be nice.”
“I’ve been hitting the ball well the last couple of weeks, so it was nice to get a round where it all came together. There was just the one mistake with the three-putt on 16, but it was pretty far away and pace putting is always difficult in Asia with the grain. It’s not what someone from Scotland is used to.”
“There’s not much wind out there and apparently there has been a drought here so there is not much rough either. You can still control the ball when you don’t hit the fairway, so I think everyone will have a lot of looks at birdies; the greens a rolling perfectly too. I’ve been hitting the ball really well since we came out to Asia but today was the first time I really capitalised on that.”
“Golfers strive for perfection so it is always going to feel like you left something out there, but I holed some nice putts so I’m pleased.”
Defending champion Brett Rumford and Alex Levy, the winner in China last week, both signed for -2 under par rounds of 70. Looking at the amazing first round scores, this tournament could set a record for the lowest scoring event on Tour. Second round play will commence at 0740 local time tomorrow, once the twenty or so players have completed their first rounds. They are all a way off the lead so the top of the leaderboard will not change.