Atthaya among leaders after round one at Thailand Mixed II
Young prodigy Atthaya among leaders after round one at Thailand Mixed II
Teen star Atthaya Thitikul carded an opening 66 to share the lead with four male competitors after round one of the Bt-3 million Thailand Mixed presented by Trust Golf II at the Alpine Golf Resort in Lumphun on Thursday.
The 18-year-old girl generated seven birdies (five at the front nine) against a lone bogey on the 13th hole to dominate the leader’s board alongside four-time Asian Tour winner Chapchai Nirat.
Former European Tour player Phachara Kongwatmai, one-time Asian Development Tour winner Kasidit Lepkurte and Matt Killen of England at the par 72 7,200 yard layout for the men and 6,163 for the women.
“It’s quite a good start for me,” said Atthaya who just won the Phoenix Ladies Classic in Pattaya three weeks ago. “The course is quite narrow, so you need to be patient out there,” added the teenager who lost to Arpichaya Yubol in the Thailand Mixed I in February.
“There are some holes that you need to play with some good game plan instead of being aggressive. I also couldn’t hit the iron to the positions that I aimed for,” added Atthaya after the competition without an audience due to COVID-19 protective measures.
“The tournament has been organized quite well with all the players following all the required procedures for pandemic protection,” she added.
Chapchai had been hot on his heels after 14 holes by shooting nine under to take an outright lead. However, accuracy deserted his game in the last four holes where he committed three bogeys.
“It’s still an incredible round for me,” said the 37-year-old Chapchai from Phitsanulok. “I just missed the cut last week (in a Thai PGA Tour). To be honest, I’m only 60 % ready in terms of my physical condition. I haven’t gone out on a tour much because of the COVID-19 situation,” added Chapchai who holds the record of 32 under- par after the final round at the 2009 Sail Open which is still the best 72-hole score on the Asian Tour.
Playing his first tournament of the year, young gun Phachara sank a finishing birdie that propelled him to the joint lead.
“Hitting six under after the first round of my first tournament in a long time is not so bad. I still need to get my momentum though,” said the 21-year-old from the South.
Coming a shot behind is 16-year-old Pattamavadee Kittikanok who hit a 67 for tied sixth along with Raththee Sirithanakulsak.
“I’m very pleased with my approach shots today. I hit close to the pins and had a lot of birdie opportunities today,” said the young teenager benefited by her familiarity with the landscape.
“I used to play at this course when I was an amateur. So I get used to the condition,” she added.
Fans can watch a livestream of the tournament at https://www.facebook.com/trustgolfclub, TrustGolf YouTube channel and while replay can be watched through AIS Airplay app. T-Sports will also broadcast live coverage of the weekend rounds on television.
The tournament, one of the TrustGolf Tour series in 2021, is organized by TrustGolf, the world’s technologically advanced golf training facility. Supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, the National Sports Development Fund, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Alpine Golf Club, B Grimm Company, Vietjet Air.com, and other sponsors, the event is orgainsed under new normal policy without an audience.