Thursday, November 13, 2008

Local hero Lam steals a march

on Singapore Open big names

Open champion Padraig Harrington and world No 3 Phil Mickelson failed to steal the limelight from local hero Lam Chi Bing in the weather-hit first round of the Barclays Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club.
Harrington, No 5 in the world rankings, was level par on the 18th tee but bogeyed the last hole for a one-over-par 72.
Mickelson, who had a dreadful start, could do no better than a 73.
Lam coped best with the wet conditions, overhead and underfoot, returning a four-under-par 67 to steal a march on the big games.
Play was suspended for 2hr 10min because of a lightning storm at mid-day.
With some of the later starters still to finish their rounds on Friday morning (including Paul Lawrie, whose clubs did not arrive until 24 hours after he did in Singapore), Australia's Marcus Both was in second place after firing a three-under 68 that featured four birdies and a lone bogey, with Austria's Markus Brier, Korea's Charlie Wi and China's Zhang Lian-wei a further shot back on two under.
Darren Clarke was tied with Mickelson on 73 while two-time Singapore Open winner Adam Scott had seven bogeys in a disappointing round of 76.
Harrington, a notoriously slow starter, was let down by a bogey at the last but felt encouraged by his opening effort.
"It certainly had the potential to be better but it is a 72 and I am encouraged by the way I hit it," said the Irishman who had three birdies and four bogeys.
"I feel good. I am enthusiastic about playing and keen to get out there. I played nicely out there today and that is encouraging for the next couple of days.
"I do need to score a little better but I need to be a little patient when it comes to that."
Lam, who secured a place at this year's Open Championship with a top-four finish in the qualifier at the same course, tried to keep his feet firmly on the ground after his fine opening round.
"It's just another tournament for me," said the Singaporean. "Even though it's our national open and the biggest tournament on the Asian Tour, I still have to go out there and do my job no matter what. So it's just going to be another day at the office for me tomorrow.
"Being familiar with a golf course is a little bit over-rated because at the end of the day, you still have to go out and produce the shots."
Mickelson, meanwhile, was encouraged with his score after bogeying three of his first four holes.
"I know two-over-par does not sound good but I will actually take it. I got off to a terrible start and I was three over early," said the American. "This is the worst chipping round I have had in years that I can remember. I hit five or six of the worst chips I have hit for a long time."
+Players will go out at 7.30am Friday to complete their first rounds after a second play suspension on Thursday.
Par 71
67 Lam Chih Bing (Sin)
68 Marcus Both (Aus)
70 Markus Brier (Aut), Charlie Wi (Kor), Zhang Lian-Wei (Chn)
71 Ben Leong (Mal), Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Park Jun-Won (Kor), Jason King (Aus), Somkiat Srisanga (Tha)
72 Padraig Harrington (Irl), Gonzalo Fernandz-Castano (Spa), Simon Dunn, Adam Blyth (Aus), Mars Pucay (Phi), Scott Barr (Aus)
73 Steven Tiley (Eng), Darren Clarke (Nirl), Prayad Marksaeng (Tha), Phil Mickelson (USA), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Arjun Singh (Ind), Young Nam (Kor), Darren Beck (Aus), Kodai Ichihara (Jpn)
74 Chan Yih-Shin (Tai), Gaurav Ghei (Ind), Danny Lee (Nzl), Liang Wen-Chong (Chn), Jason Knutzon (USA), Muhammad Munir (Pak), Neven Basic (Aus), Guido Van Der Valk (Ned), Rhys Davies (Wal), Thammanoon Srirot (Tha), Dinesh Chand (Fij)
75 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Han Lee (Kor), Wang Ter-Chang (Tai), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), Richard Sterne (Rsa), Kwanchai Tannin (Tha), Shaaban Hussin (Mal), M Murugiah (Sin), Anthony Kang (USA),S Siva Chandhran (Mal), Kim Nam-Kang (Kor)
76 Pornsakon Tipsanit (Tha), Mo Joong-Kyung (Kor), Unho Park (Aus), Takuya Taniguchi (Jpn), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Arjun Atwal (Ind), Adam Scott (Aus), Udorn Duangdecha (Tha), Wisut Artjanawat (Tha), Ted Oh (Kor), Kao Bo-Song (Tai)
77 Rashid Ismail (Mal), Ekalak Waisayakul (Tha), Hsu Mong-Nan (Tai), Will Yanagisawa (USA), Yasin Ali (Eng)
78 Ferdinand Aunzo (Phi), Angelo Que (Phi), Gary Simpson (Aus), Lien Lu-Sen (Tai)
79 Mahal Pearce (Nzl), Frankie Minoza (Phi), Ross Bain (Sco), Danny Chia (Mal), Ashley Hall (Aus)
80 Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Stephen Scahill (Nzl)
83 Gary Kwek, Iain Steel (Mal)
84 Patrick Tang (Sin)
Retired: Bryan Saltus (USA)



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