Veteran golfer takes joint lead in Singapore
09 Sep 2011 - 13:30:11
Veteran Thai golfer Thaworn Wiratchant fought to a two-under-par 68 Friday for a share of the second round lead with two players at least 20 years his junior at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic.
Thaworn, 44, a former Asian Tour number one and 12-time winner, posted a two-round total of 134, six under par, and was joined in first place by India's Himmat Rai, 24, and 23-year-old Finnish rookie Kalle Samooja.
Both younger players shot 66s at the US$300,000 event at the Orchid Country Club.
Malaysia's Danny Chia (69), Elmer Salvador of the Philippines (67) and in-form Brazilian Adilson Da Silva (67) were a stroke back on 135, with eight more players bunched in equal seventh place on 136.
Thaworn made four birdies against two bogeys on a course which he said does not suit his game.
"This is a very good score for me," he said. "I couldn't control my shots as I was either short of the green or over the green. It was tough to control the ball.
"I'll play with two young players tomorrow. They are very long hitters. My aim is to hit fairways and greens and then rely on putting. This week, I have a good feel with my putter."
Rai, rated as one of India's rising stars, displayed his growing maturity to put himself in contention for a maiden Asian Tour win with five birdies against one bogey.
"My strategy was a little better today. I didn't go for as many tough pins as yesterday which cost me a couple of holes. I basically played more for positions on the greens and it worked out well," said Rai.
"I've been in this position before and I'll make the best use of this opportunity to go for a win."
Samooja, a Qualifying School graduate, enjoyed a bogey-free card with four birdies and is hoping to join countryman and regular roommate Joonas Granberg in the winner's club following the latter's victory at July's Selangor Masters.
"You can see from the results, tournament by tournament, I'm getting better scores. I just need to keep it for the last two rounds," he said.
"Joonas' win in Selangor has given me the confidence that I can do it too. We spoke a lot after his victory. He said to just be patient and keep making birdies."
The cut was set at two over, with a total of 71 players making it into the weekend rounds.