Photo - Asian Tour
THAWORN TAKES CONTROL AT INAUGURAL YEANGDER TPC
Taipei, September 17: Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant signalled his intent of winning his 12th Asian Tour title by posting a second round five-under-par 67 to take the second round lead at the inaugural Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Friday.
Thaworn also remains on course of matching compatriot and reigning Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee’s record of 12 Asian Tour victories after signing for a two-day total of eight-under-par 136 at the Linkou International Golf Club.
Malaysia’s Iain Steel kept up his charge for his maiden win on the Asian Tour by adding a 69 to his opening 68 to take second place while Australia’s David Gleeson and Tsai Chi-huang of Chinese Taipei are a further shot back in third place on 138 total. Ben Fox and Matthew Rosenfeld of the United States posted matching 139s to take equal fifth at the US$300,000 full field Asian Tour event.
While the record-equalling feat is on track for Thaworn, the 43-year-old Thai who already has three top-10 finishes this season also believes that a victory at this week’s inaugural event will provide the impetus needed to mount a serious challenge at several upcoming high profile events on the Asian Tour Schedule.
“I’ve been playing well this season and my good form has given me lots of self-belief. I’m feeling good about my game and I’m ready to contend for the title this week,” said Thaworn who marked his card with six birdies and one bogey on the par-three fifth.
“A win will definitely be nice as it’ll give me confidence when I play in the big events coming up in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore,” added the Thai.
Steel who started the day tied for second, reeled in birdies on holes two and four before dropping his only bogey of the day at the par-three eighth.
The Malaysian then added two more birdies on the 11th and 18th holes after the turn to return in 69.
“I didn’t hit my drivers and approaches as well as I could have. It was like a ham and egg round today and I came out with three-under,” said Steel.
“I still got to try to make birdies when I can. It’s quite tricky as the greens are very grainy. The par-fives are there for the birdies. The course is not very long but you’ve got to be careful and make some putts when you can,” added the Malaysian
Meanwhile Gleeson believes that he will have to improve on his driving if he wants to win his third Asian Tour title this week.
“I played pretty poorly today. I made a couple of chips and putts but hit three bad drives on the par-fives,” said the Australian.
Gleeson got off well with an opening birdie in his starting back-nine. He bogeyed the par-four 14th but recovered with another birdie on the 15th hole.
The Australian added birdies on the third and fifth holes after the turn but bogeyed his closing ninth to sign for a 70.
“I’ve got to score a little better than that tomorrow and try to be high up in the leaderboard because you never know what the weather is going to be like. Basically I’ve got to try to be in front after tomorrow,” said Gleeson of the impending typhoon forecast to hit Taipei over the weekend.
Overnight leader Lu Wen-teh of Chinese Taipei was disappointed not to have kept up the pace after returning with a 73 for a share of seventh place.
“I just didn’t play as well as I did yesterday. I had a steady round in my front-nine with one birdie but committed too many mistakes in my back-nine resulting in two bogeys. It’s disappointing but there’re still two more rounds to play and I hope to do well,” said the 47-year-old veteran.