By BGB Staff WriterThai talent Poom Saksansin took advantage of his solid iron-play to sign for an opening eight-under-par 63, grabbing a one-shot lead over countryman Jazz Janewattananond at the Queen’s Cup presented by Bangchak on Thursday.
Poom, a two-time Asian Tour winner, nailed eight birdies before dropping a shot on 17 for his only blemish of the day. The 25-year-old Thai, however, recovered swiftly with a birdie on the last to take his place atop the leaderboard at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.
Jazz, who will be making his Major debut at The Open next month, returned with a bogey-free round highlighted by seven birdies to sit in second place at the US$300,000 event, which is celebrating its 10th straight edition on the region’s premier Tour this week.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, who was flawless with six birdies, shared third place with American Paul Peterson and Danthai Boonma of Thailand on matching 65s. Peterson came home with four straight birdies while Danthai got off to a birdie-eagle start en route to their 65s.
Jbe Kruger of South Africa recorded the first hole-in-one of the week when he aced the par-three 16th hole with a gap wedge from 145 yards. He trails by three shots in tied-sixth place following a 66.
Defending champion Nicholas Fung of Malaysia posted a 72 to tie in 103rd place at the Queen’s Cup, which welcomed a new presenting sponsor in Bangchak Corporation, one of Thailand’s leading energy companies, this season.
Did you know?
– Poom Saksansin is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour. He produced a five-shot victory at the 2016 Indonesian Masters to win his first Asian Tour title and completed a convincing wire-to-wire victory at the 2017 TAKE Solutions Masters where he won by two shots.
– Poom led the 2014 Queen’s Cup into the final round before finishing second behind Thaworn Wiratchant.
– He finished in a career-high eighth position on the 2017 Merit rankings and earned a maiden appearance at the 2018 EurAsiaCup where he represented Team Asia.
– Poom, together with Sunghoon Kang, defeated Henrik Stenson and Alex Levy in the first day four-ball match 5&4. Also beat Paul Casey 1 up on the final day Singles match.
– Poom sits in 29th place on the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, thanks to two top-10s, which included a runner-up finish at the Thailand Open earlier this month.
– Jazz missed only two fairways and three greens in his flawless round of 64 today.
– Jazz will be making his Major debut at The Open at Carnoustie next month. He earned the coveted spot after finishing tied-fourth at the season-opening SMBC Singapore Open, which was part of The Open Qualifying Series.
– Jazz missed only one cut in 10 starts on Tour to sit in a current 16th place on the 2018 Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings.
– He came in runner-up at the Queen’s Cup last year, finishing just one shot back of winner Nicholas Fung of Malaysia.
– Jazz won his first Asian Tour title at the 2017 Bangladesh Open by four shots. The victory was especially sweet for him as he finished outside the top-60 on the 2016 Order of Merit and missed the grade at the 2017 Qualifying School. He went on to notch five other top-10s to finish a career-high 13th place on the Order of Merit.
– Siddikur Rahman is a two-time Asian Tour winner. Became the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour in 2010.
– Siddikur needed only 21 putts for his commendable round of 65.
– Siddikur has recorded five top-10 results in his last eight appearances at the Queen’s Cup, albeit on a different golf course.
– Like Jazz, Danthai will also be making his Major debut at The Open at Carnoustie next month. He also secured his spot after finishing tied-fourth in Singapore in January.
– Danthai has enjoyed some good results at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club. He finished tied-third at the King’s Cup in 2016 and came in tied-eighth at the Royal Cup last December.
– The 22-year-old Danthai secured his Asian Tour breakthrough at the World Classic Championship in Singapore in 2015.
– Paul Peterson claimed his breakthrough win on the Asian Tour at the Myanmar Open earlier in January.
– The left-handed Peterson came in tied-third at the Queen’s Cup in 2016 before going on to win his first European Tour title at the Czech Masters two months later.
– The 29-year-old Peterson sits in eighth place on the current Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity