Chiba prefecture, Japan, May 9: Thailand’s Danthai Boonma laid down the early marker when he opened with a flawless four-under-par 67 to take the first round lead under blustery conditions at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on Thursday.
On a day where only 12 out of 144 players broke par, Danthai emerged as the leader of the pack when he marked his card with two birdies and an eagle to stay ahead at the Sobu Country Club.
The Thai, a one-time Asian Tour winner, has already won twice this year with victories coming from a domestic event in February and on the Japan Challenge Tour last month.
Australia’s Brendan Jones remained a threat to Danthai’s title ambitions as he trails the Thai by one after signing for a 68 to share second place with Japan’s Tomoyo
The experienced Australian is no stranger to success in Japan, holding multiple wins in the Land of the Rising Sun, with the latest coming only last month in Nagoya.
Asia’s first Major winner, Y.E. Yang of Korea returned with a 69 to take tied-fourth place while Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng, Prom Meesawat together with Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena and Japan’s Shugo Imahira are bunched in equal ninth place after they posted matching 70s.
The Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup is the Asian Tour’s first stop in Japan this season and second of four co-sanctioned events with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) this year.
Did you know?
- Danthai Boonma made his breakthrough on the Asian Tour by winning the World Classic Championship in Singapore in 2015.
- Danthai has already won twice this year. He won a domestic event in Khon Kaen in February and followed up that victory with another on the Japan Challenge Tour in April.
- Danthai ended his 2018 season in 23rd place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and finished tied-23rd in Korea last week.
- He made his Major debut at The Open last year and has also won two gold medals at the 2012 South East Asia (SEA) Games. The Thai was also a bronze medalist at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.
- Brendan Jones is a multiple winner in Japan and has been playing regularly there since 2001.
- The Australian’s 15th and latest win on the JGTO came at the Token Homemate Cup in Nagoya last month.
- Prayad Marksaeng is one of Thailand’s most successful golfers with 10 Asian Tour victories.
- He was a member of Thailand’s winning golf team at the 1987 South East Asian (SEA) Games and turned professional in 1991.
- Prayad has won multiple times in Japan and started playing on the Japan Senior Tour after turning 50 in 2016.
- He topped the Merit rankings on the Japan Senior Tour in 2016 (Four wins), 2017 (Four wins) and 2018 (Five wins).
- Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena only returned to competitive golf last week in China. He suffered a back injury and was forced to withdraw from events in Malaysia and India.
- Tabuena is a two-time Asian Tour winner. He clinched his second Tour title at the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation last year.