Friday March 22, 2013
Kiradech shines as he grabs early lead in rain-hit opening day of Maybank Malaysian Open
BY S. RAMAGURU and RAJES PAUL
THAILAND’S Kiradech Aphibarnrat battled through fatigue for a sizzling seven-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead in the rain-hit US$2.75mil Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Kiradech posted eight birdies against one bogey to hold a one-shot lead over Anders Hansen of Denmark, Edoardo Molinari of Italy and Frenchman Gregory Bourdy at the event which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
He was among 76 players who managed to complete the round when play was suspended at 4pm due to inclement weather.
Two other Thai players’ Namchok Tantipokhakul and Chapchai Nirat however failed to finish their round.
The first round will be continued at 7.45am today with another 78 players still to post a score.
Scott Jamieson of Scotland was six-under through 10 holes while 2011 Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and China’s Wu Ashun are at four-under through 11 and 12 holes respectively.
Malaysian veteran S. Murthy provided some local cheer with a 67 while world No. 3 Luke Donald of England returned with a 74 in his debut appearance.
Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland also managed to complete his first round with a three-under 69 to be tied with nine others.
“Three under par is a reasonable return,” said Harrington, who admitted he was “suffering” in the humidity.
“I’m normally very good in the heat but I’m suffering here. I usually don’t sweat very much, but this 14 pounds extra weight is costing me at the moment.
“I’m pumping out sweat,” he said.
The morning session was played under blazing sun which affected quite a number of golfers.
The Thai, who is suffering from a thyroid disease, had to hold back from blasting his tee shots to preserve energy on a steamy day.
“The weather is too hot and the thyroid disease is making me feel tired,” he said.
“Honestly, I didn’t have enough energy to hit long drives. I’m still taking medication and I’ll consider going for operation when I consult my doctor in six months,” he said.
Kiradech is enjoying a sensational season so far.
He finished third at the Asian Tour’s season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open and qualified for his maiden appearance at The Open Championship by winning the International Final Qualifying (Asia) in Thailand earlier this month.
He also placed fourth at last week’s Avantha Masters in India.
“I didn’t force myself or any of my golf shots. I didn’t set myself any goals for this week. I didn’t tell myself that I should finish in the top-five or win this event. I want to take things shot by shot. When you don’t have power or energy, you can’t force yourself,” added Kiradech.
Molinari, a two-time European Tour winner, produced his best round since last March after starting to work with Sean Foley, who also trains 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods.
“He (Foley) is making big changes. I need big changes because I didn’t like the way I was playing last year,” said the Italian.
“I felt it wasn’t right. I felt it was time to change.
“I like what he says and I have a lot more knowledge on what I’m doing on the golf course.
“As soon as I missed a shot on the course then I know how to fix it,” added Molinari, who carded eight birdies.
Completed first round scores
(Only half the field finished round interrupted by rain. Malaysians unless stated)
65: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha);
66: Anders Hansen (Den), Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Gregory Bourdy (Fra);
67: S. Murthy, Victor Dubuisson (Fra);
68: Adilson Da Silva (Bra), Lee Sung (Chn), Fredrik Andersson Hen (Swe), Peter Lawrie (Irl);
69: Mark Foster (Eng), Marcus Frazer (Nzl), Olivier Fisher (Eng), Marcus Both (Nzl), Andrew Dodt (Nzl), Padraig Harrington (Irl), Joost Luiten (Ned), Alexander Noren (Swe), David Howell (Eng);
70: Emilliano Grillo (Arg), R. Nachimuthu, Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Mikko Ilonen (Fin), Wade Ormsby (Nzl), Angelo Que (Phi), Mardan Mamat (Sin), Tommy Fleet Wood (Eng);
71: Matthew Baldwin (Eng), Simon Khan (Eng), Danny Chia, Jaakko Makitalo (Fin), Steve Webster (Eng), Berry Henson (US), Gunn Charoenkul (Tha), Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Mo Joong-kyung (Kor), Lee In-woo (Kor), Stephen Gallacher (Sco), Soren Kjeldsen (Den);
72: Shiv Kapur (Ind), Masanori Kobayashi (Jpn), Antonio Lascuna (Phi), Philip Price (Wal), Chan Yih-shin (Tpe), Julien Quesne (Fra), Digvijay Singh (Ind);
73: Thomas Levet (Fra), Zaw Moe (Mya), Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Michael Campbell (Nzl);
74: Arnold Vongvanij (Tha), Anthony Kang, Anirban Lhiri (Ind), Scott Hend (Nzl), Luke Donald (Eng), Park Hyun-bin (Kor);
75: David Lipsky (US), Jason Knutzon (US), Mithun Perera (Srl), Shaaban Hussin (US), Ricardo Santos (Arg), Fabrizio Zanoti (Par);
76: James Morrison (Eng), Kieran Pratt (Nzl), Airil Rizman Zahari;
77: Kemarol Baharin, Solomon Emilio Rosidin (A), Mohd Basharudin;
78: Juvic Pagunsan (Phi), Akhmal Tarmizee, Graeme Storm (Eng);
79: Hanafiah Jamil, M. Sasidaran;
81: Rashid Ismail;
82: Low Khai Jei (A)
Retired: Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha), Chapchai Nirat (Tha)
Second round tee-off times
Tee-off to be delayed by two hours
(Malaysians unless stated)
7.40am: Sukree Othman, Gregory Havret (Fra), Kwanchai Tannin (Tha)
7.50am: Richard Green (Aus), Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg), Kim Gi-whan (Kor)
8.00am: Darren Beck (Aus), Nicholas Fung, Joel Sjoholm (Swe)
8.10am: S.S.P. Chowrasia (Ind), Mohd Siddikur Rahman (Ban), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa)
8.20am: Tsai Chi-huang (Tpe), Christian Cevaer (Fra), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)
8.30am: Felipe Aguilar (Chi), C. Muniyappa (Ind), Scott Barr (Aus)
8.40am: Lee Slattery (Eng), Richard Finch (Eng), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind)
8.50am: Gareth Maybin (Nir), Jose Manuel Lara (Spa), Johan Edfors (Swe)
9.00am: Javier Colomo (Spa), Gerry Norquist (US), Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned)
9.10am: David Gleeson (Aus), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Tha), Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra)
9.20am: Ben Fox (US), Mohd Afif Razif (Amateur), Jorge Campillo (Spa)
9.30am: Kenneth De Silva, Abel Tam (A), Kalle Samooja (Fin)
12.30pm: Shaaban Hussin, Mithun Perera (Srl)
12.40pm: Angelo Que (Phi), Rashid Ismail
12.50pm: Shiv Kapur (Ind), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Anders Hansen (Den)
1.00pm: Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Luke Donald (Eng), Stephen Gallacher (Sco)
1.10pm: Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Padraig Harrington (Irl), Danny Chia
1.20pm: Scott Hend (Aus), Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Anirban Lahiri (Ind)
1.30pm: Juvic Pagunsan (Phi), Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Alexander Noren (Swe)
1.40pm: Marcus Fraser (Aus), Michael Campbell (Nzl), Arnold Vongvanij (Tha)
1.50pm: Peter Lawrie (Irl), David Lipsky (US), Soren Kjeldsen (Den)
2.00pm: Berry Henson (US), Kieran Pratt (Aus), Mardan Mamat (Sin)
2.10pm: Joost Lluiten (Ned), Masanori Kobayashi (Jpn), Adilson Da Silva (Bra)
2.20pm: Park Hyun-bin (Kor), Oliver Fisher (Eng), Antonio Lascuna (Phi)
2.30pm: Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Vicktor Dubuisson (Fra), Ricardo Santos (Por)
7.40am: David Drysdale (Sco), Chawalit Plaphol (Tha), Robert Coles (Eng)
7.50am: Wu Ashun (Chn), S. Siva Chandhran, Peter Hedblom (Swe)
8.00am: Prayad Marksaeng (Tha), Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn)
8.10am: Chris Wood (Eng), Liang Wen Chong (Chn), Charl Schwartzel (Rsa)
8.20am: Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Matteo Manassero (Ita), Gavin Kyle Green (A)
8.30am: Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Prom Meesawat (Tha), Scott Jamieson (Sco)
8.40am: Jbe Kruger (Rsa), Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind), Simon Dyson (Eng)
8.50am: Daniel Chopra (Swe), Alastair Forsyth (Sco), Shingo Katayama (Jpn)
9.00am: Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Tetsuji Hiratsuka (Jpn), Rikard Karlberg (Swe)
9.10am: Himmat Rai (Ind), Joonas Granberg (Fin), Maarten Lafeber (Ned)
9.20am: K.T. Kim (Kor), Romain Wattel (Fra), Jonathan Moore (US)
9.30am: Mohd Arie Fauzi (A), Ignaciao Garrido (Spa), Elmer Salvador (Phi)
9.40am: Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), P. Gunasegaran
12.30pm: Akhmal Tarmizee, Low Khai Jei (Ar), Gunn Charoenkul (Tha)
12.40pm: S. Murthy, Steve Webster (Eng), Lee Sung (Kor)
12.50pm: Zaw Moe (Mya), Mikko Ilonen (Fin), R. Nachimuthu
1.00pm: Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha), Julien Quesne (Fra), Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe)
1.10pm: Digvijay Singh (Ind), Simon Khan (Eng), Thomas Levet (Fra)
1.20pm: David Howell (Eng), Lee In-woo (Kor), Chan Yih-shin (Tpe)
1.30pm: Solomon Emilio Rosidin (A), Jason Knutzon (US), Mo Joong-kyung (Kor)
1.40pm: Emilliano Grillo (Arg), Andrew Dodt (Aus), Wade Ormsby (Aus)
1.50pm: Mark Foster (Eng), Matthew Baldwin (Eng), Gergory Bourdy (Fra)
2.00pm: James Morrison (Eng), Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Anthony Kang (US)
2.10pm: Graeme Storm (Eng), Marcus Both (Aus), M. Sasidaran
2.20pm: Airil Rizman Zahari, Jaakko Makitalo (Fin), Phillip Price (Wal)
2.30pm: Mohd Azman Badharudin, Kemarol Baharin, Hanafiah Jamil
No luck for Luke as world No. 3 struggles in his debut
Murthy in fiery form and is hungry for more thanks to wife’s food
Rain brings joy to Gavin as he gets chance to launch a stronger assault