NAMCHOK ENJOYS SOLID START AT OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS
Crans Montana, Switzerland, September 1: Thailand’s rising star Namchok Tantipokhakul enjoyed a solid start in his debut at the Omega European Masters with an opening round even par-71 on Thursday.
Namchok traded three birdies against as many bogeys to trail clubhouse leaders Martin Kaymer of Germany and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland by six strokes in the €2 million (approximately US$2.6 million) showpiece co sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Namchok, nicknamed “Lucky”, rued a cold putter where he missed numerous birdie opportunities but remained confident of bouncing back in the second round. His highlight of the round came on the 16th hole where he chipped in for birdie from 15 yards.
“The greens are different than Asia and you need time to adapt to it. I had many birdie chances but three putted on so many holes. It was difficult to read the lines. Overall, it was a good score but I know I can do better,” said the 24-year-old.
Namchok lost in a play-off in the Asian Tour’s season-ending Black Mountain Masters last year and is highly regarded as one of the new young guns to emerge from Thailand.
He is part of a strong Thai contingent playing this week and knows he needs to wield a hot putter to give himself a chance of a commendable result this week.
“My putting was a real let down and I will need to practise more later. This is such a beautiful golf course but I must focus and concentrate on my game. I’m here to play my best golf and I hope I’ll make it to the weekend rounds,” said Namchok.
The first round of the Omega European Masters is still in progress.
Photo - Asian Tour
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