Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Great start for Scots: Bain, Dunn

on 68, Booth, Harper 20th on 69

Wallace Booth and Lee Harper have both made a flying start to the Asian Tour Final Qualifying School in Thailand. They both 69s over the par-72 Springfield course to be lying joint 20th overall in a combined field of 169 players. All in all it was a good day for the Scots - Ross Bain and Simon Dunn both hit the 68 mark, also over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Springfield lay-out.

Hua Hin, Thailand: Japanese duo Katsumune Imai and Masaki Sakata shared the first round limelight alongside Englishman Mark Foster and Han Seung-su of Korea at the 2010 Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand on Wednesday.
The quartet, who all played at the par-72 Springfield Royal Country Club, posted matching seven-under-par 65s to open up a one-stroke lead.
Sam Osborne of England shot a 66 at the par-71 Palm Hills Golf Club to tie for fifth place alongside Thailand ’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert.
The Final Stage is played over two courses at Springfield Royal Country Club and Palm Hills Golf Club. The final two rounds will be played at Springfield Royal Country Club where the top-40 and ties will earn playing privileges on the Asian Tour.
Former Asian Tour winner Artemio Murakami of the Philippines , South African Peter Karmis and amateur golfer Cho Hyun-woo of Korea are among five players tied in seventh place on 67.
Frenchman Jean Van De Velde, a former British Open runner-up, posted a 72 to lie in tied 83rd place.
Imai, 37, closed with a superb back nine performance when he returned with a record equaling 28 highlighted by six birdies and one eagle where he sank a five-yard chip in from the edge of the 12th hole.
The two-time Japan Tour winner signed off with further birdies on 17 and 18 which he sank from six feet.
“My putting on the front nine was horrible but everything started to fall together on the back nine. Overall, it was a great round except for my single bogey.
“After losing my Japan Tour card last year, I decided to play somewhere different so opted to play this week. I hope I can earn my card and achieve success here,” said Imai.
Starting on the back nine, Foster, a one-time winner in Europe , got off to a good start when he birdied the 13th hole before reeling in six more birdies in a bogey free round.
“The difficult part this week is getting comfortable on the greens and my putting didn’t let me down. I’m very pleased with my round. I wanted to get off to a good start and I managed to achieve that,” said the 34-year-old Foster.
Han, 23, was delighted to fire an eagle three on the 18th hole to take a share of the lead. The Korean, who is based in the United States , converted a five foot putt after a great approach shot.
“I felt really confident from the start to the end. I will take 65 anytime. I played well in the first stage so my confidence has been growing. I have been working a lot on my swing and I think that has started to pay off.
“I grew up in Korea and later moved to the United States so I always had a thing for Asia . A lot of my friends tell me that this is a good place to play so I wanted to give it a try. I just hope everything works out good,” said Han.
Tangkamolprasert led the Thai charge after finding 16 greens en route to a flawless round sprinkled with six birdies.
“I have been practising on this course for the past week and it is starting to pay off. My driving and putting worked very well. Today is one of those days where everything was easy for me,” said the Thai.
South Korea has the highest number of participants with 24 players playing this week followed by Japan (18), the United States (17), Thailand (17) and Australia (15). The Qualifying School has attracted players from various countries such as China , South Africa , India and Holland .
+Two courses being used: Springfield (par 72) & Palm Hills (par 71)
65 Mark Foster (Eng), Katsumune Imai (Jpn), Masaki Sakata (Jpn), Han Seung-su (Kor)
66 Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha), Sam Osborne (Eng)
67 Peter Karmis (Rsa), Artemio Murakami (Phi), Piya Swangarunporn (Tha), Cho Hyun-woo (Kor), Tim Sluiter (Ned)
68 Pasamet Pogamnerd (Tha), Kunal Bhasin (Aus), Kim Kook-Hyan (Kor), Ross Bain (Sco), Simon Dunn (Sco), Baaz Mann (Ind), Jun Kikuchi (Jpn), Jason King (Aus)
Selected scores:
69 Wallace Booth (Sco), Lee Harper (Sco) (jt 20th).
71 Nick Redfern (Eng) (jt 63rd).
72 Jean Van de Velde (Fra) (jt 83rd).
73 Neil Chaudhuri (Eng), Richard Wallis (Eng) (jt 105th).
76 Peter Wilson (Eng), Yasin Ali (Eng) (jt 136th).



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