Crans Montana, Switzerland, September 2: Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand battled to a second round four-under-par 67 in the Omega European Masters on Friday and knows he needs to wield a hot putter to stand a chance of winning.
Thongchai, a three-time Order of Merit winner, posted six birdies against two bogeys to trail early pacesetter Simon Dyson of England, a former Asian Tour number one, by four shots in the €2 million (approximately US$2.6 million) showpiece co sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
The decorated Thai playing on the back nine bogeyed the 11th hole but recovered with a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th hole to turn in 33 at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
He added two more birdies on holes one and two and dropped his second shot of the day on five before posting another birdie on the next hole.
“I played very well and solid. I missed a couple of putts but also made decisive putts. It was a good day compared to the first round. I struggled with my putting yesterday but it is getting better,” said Thongchai, who shot a two-day total of four-under-par 138.
“My putting isn’t as good as what it used to be and the greens are quite bumpy. You have to really know how to read the lines and the speed of the greens,” he added.
Thongchai, who played with world number two Lee Westwood of England and Alexander Noren of Sweden, believes putting will be the key to success this week.
“It is like a putting competition for me in every tournament. If I putt well, I give myself a chance of winning. It is the same here. I look forward to the next two days,” said the 13-time Asian Tour winner.
Thongchai, who finished in fifth place in the 2009 Omega European Masters, feels right at home at the Crans Montana.
“It feels a bit like home here because there’s a nice Thai restaurant in town which I always go and eat in. It is nice to have good Thai food so far away from Thailand,” he added.
Photo - Asian Tour
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