Saturday December 15, 2012
Spaniard Garcia shows Cup-winning form to charge up leaderboard
By S. RAMAGURU
NUSAJAYA (Johor): Spain’s Sergio Garcia reproduced his Ryder Cup winning form to charge up the leaderboard to hold the second round lead at nine-under through 12 holes at the rain-interrupted US$2mil Iskandar Johor Open yesterday.
Inclement weather caused almost three hours of play to be lost due to two suspensions and with darkness falling on the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club, play was eventually suspended, leaving 117 players to return at 7.30am this morning to resume their round.
Opening round leader David Lipsky of the United States, who has yet to start his second round, shared the lead with Garcia after signing for a 63 in the morning.
Three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand is six-under through 13 holes and is among five players who are three shots back of Garcia and Lipsky at the Asian Tour season-ending event.
Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing returned with a four-under 68 and is among the only three players who managed to complete their round.
Garcia, who played a starring role in the Ryder Cup for Europe in September, could only play three holes on the opening day. The Spaniard then returned with a vengeance by snaring 10 birdies against one bogey over 33 holes.
“It was good. It’s been a long day but quite positive. I just hope I can keep going in the right direction and see what happens. Hopefully, we’ll get lucky and can get all four rounds in,” said the week’s highest ranked player at world No. 20.
The weather disruptions did little to dampen the Spaniard’s charge as he was already bracing himself for such delays in his maiden appearance in Malaysia.
“I did well before and after the breaks ... so overall it is what it is. You’ve got to realise that the weather is like this and you’ve got to deal with it,” said Garcia.
Lipsky, who returned to complete two holes, did not get to start his round but will head into the weekend, perched atop the leaderboard with Garcia.
“It wasn’t too hard as I came back with an easy two-foot birdie putt and pretty simple par-five to finish off my round. Hopefully, the weather stays clear and we can get more golf in,” said Lipsky, who marked his bogey-free card with seven birdies and one eagle.
Meanwhile, Thongchai will be hoping to shake off the effects of fatigue when he resumes his title charge today.
“I’m happy with the way I played but I felt tired because of the suspensions. It was quite difficult to play on the course because the fairways are a bit wet. The greens are okay. I played very solid. I think I played about 30 holes. I woke up at 5.15am and it will be the same tomorrow,” said Thongchai.
Chih Bing, who is battling to save his Tour card for next season after lying in 76th place on the Order of Merit, was visibly relieved when he managed to return to the clubhouse under fading light.
With the weather conditions continuing to create delays, tournament draw card Ernie Els of South Africa preferred to look on the lighter side of things.
“I pray to God that we should have more of this kind of weather as I’m from South Africa and we’ve a dry climate. I like this kind of weather especially when I’m sleeping but not when I’m playing golf!” laughed Els, who is four-under through 12 holes.
Malaysian amateur Gavin Kyle Green, who was paired with Els and Garcia, is five-under through 12 holes.
(Malaysians unless stated)
63: David Lipsky (US);
65: Unho Park (Aus);
66: Kevin Na (US), Baek Seuk-hyun (Kor), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha);
67: Peter Karmis (Rsa), Angelo Que (Phi), S.S.P. Chowrasia (Ind), Shiv Kapoor (Ind), Kalle Samooje (Fin), Felipe Aguilar (Chi);
68: Daniel Chopra (Swe), Digvijay Singh (Ind), Darren Beck (Aus), Chapchai Nirat (Tha), Jaakko Makitalo (Fin), Jesper Kennegard (Swe), Sergio Garcia (Spa), Rick Kulacz (Aus), Antonio Lascuna (Phi);
69: Panuwat Muenlek (Tha), Ernie Els (Rsa), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), Andrew Dodt (Aus), Adilson da Silva (Bra), Jonathan Moore (US);
70: Michael Tran (Vie), Sukree Othman, Zhang Lianwei (Chn), Sam Cyr (US), Arnond Vongvanji (Tha), Ron Harvey Jr (Can), Kwanchai Tannin (Tha), Kim Gi-whan (Kor), Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn), Gavin Kyle Green, Elmer Salvador (Phi), Benny Henson (US), Iain Steel, Boonchu Ruangkit (Tha), Marcus Fraser (Aus), Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Rikard Karlberg (Swe), Mardan Mamat (Sin);
71: Lam Chih Bing (Sin), Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha), Quincy Quek (Sin), Mo Joong-kyung (Kor), Mithun Perera (Sri), Prayad Marksafeng (Tha), Lee Sung (Kor), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Masanori Kobayashi (Jpn), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Peter Gustafsson (Swe), Michael Campbell (Nzl), Jbe Kruger (Rsa), Stephen Lewton (Eng), Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Adam Groom (Aus), Daisuke Maruyama (Jpn);
72: Anthony Kang (US), Frankie Minoza (Phi), Derek Eemst (US), Chris Rodgers (Eng), Gunn Charoenkul (Tha), Daniel Ng, Pawin Ingkhapradit (Tha), Javi Colomo (Spa), Martin Rominger (Swi), Ajeetesh Sandhu (Ind), Joonas Granberg (Fin), Scott Barr (Aus), Siddikur Rahman (Ban), Jason Knutzon (US), Prom Meesawat (Tha), S. Siva Chandhran, Scott Hend (Aus), R. Nachimuthu;
73: Niall Turner (Ire), Tetsuji Hiratsuka (Jpn), Zaw Moe (Myn), Chan Yit-shin (Tpe), Shaaban Hussin, Chawalit Plaphol (Tha), Nils Floren (Swe), Adam Blyth (Aus), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Tha);
74: Kemarul Baharin, John Daly (US), Abel Tan, Guido van der Valk (Hol), Lin Wen-tang (Tpe), Simon Griffiths (Eng), David Gleeson (Aus), Thammanoon Sriroj (Tha), Tim Stewart (Aus), Thitiphun Chuayprakong (Tha);
75: Haziq Hamizan, Miguel Tabuena (Phi), Jarmo Sandelin (Swe), Ben Fox (US), Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha), Danny Chia, Koh Deng Shan (Sin), Park Hyun-bin (Kor), Rattanon Wannasrichan (Tha);
76: Iszaimi Ismail, Matt Jager (Aus), Marcus Both (Aus), Mars Pucay (Phi), Ryan Yip (Can), Himmat Rai (Ind), Low Khai Jei;
77: Chiragh Kumar (Ind), Khor Keng Hwai;
78: Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha), Azman Basharudin, Jeremiah Kim;
79: Thanyakon Khrongpha (Tha).