Thursday, April 11, 2013


Manila, April 11: Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Dodge Kemmer of the United States kept his emotions in check when he grabbed the first round lead with a six-under-par 66 at the Solaire Open on Thursday.
Kemmer returned with a clean scorecard highlighted by six birdies to hold a two-shot advantage over Thailand’s Pawin Ingkhapradit at the inaugural US$300,000 Asian Tour event, which is title sponsored by the Solaire Resort and Casino.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, a multiple Asian Tour winner and local hope Mars Pucay, who is searching for a first Asian Tour win, posted identical 69s to be among 12 players to shoot under-par at the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, who is ranked fifth on the Order of Merit, registered a 70 to share fifth place with Australia’s Matt Jager, Daisuke Kataoka of Japan and Thai duo Rattanon Wannasrichan and Piya Swangarunporn.
Kemmer, who regained his Asian Tour card by finishing 21st at Qualifying School after losing his playing rights last season, returned to form after reading psychology books to improve his mental strength.
“I get down on myself pretty easily. I’m trying to stay more level emotionally and that’s easy to do when you are playing well. It will be interesting to see if I can handle my emotions when I hit some adversity this week,” said the 25-year-old.
He struggled to ignite a title charge in his rookie season last year but hopes to turn the tide in his favour on the familiar Wack Wack East course.
“I really like this course when I played here last year. It is always easier to go out and play a good round when you are happy and excited to play the course. I knew I had it in me and luckily it worked out for me,” smiled Kemmer.
“I’m loving the Asian Tour more than I did last year, which was already a lot! I’m happy to be playing here. In the first year, you get used to everything. It is totally different from anything in America which I’m used to but I feel a lot more comfortable out here now,” he added.
Pawin, who secured a tied fifth result at the SAIL-SBI Open in India in March, felt comfortable on the Wack Wack greens, which were almost similar to the greens on his home course at the Army Golf Club in Thailand.
“I share the same home club as Thaworn (Wiratchant) and the greens are the same as Wack Wack,” he smiled. “All my birdie putts were from inside 10 feet. There was very little wind in the morning so that was good. I played here last year but I shot an 84 and 78 in the opening two rounds. Today I shot a 68 which shows how much I’ve improved as a golfer.”
Pucay, the best placed Filipino after day one, is determined to put a disappointing 2012 season behind him as he lost his Asian Tour card for the first time since 2008.
“It was very frustrating last year but I have a chance to make amends this week,” said the 43-year-old. “It is always a good score, anytime you shoot under-par at Wack Wack. I’ve played here since my amateur days so let’s hope that I can keep this momentum going.”
Chinese Taipei star Lin used a new putter to great effect as he sank five birdies against two bogeys to trail Kemmer by three shots.
“I putted very badly last year. I averaged about 30 putts a round and you can’t win tournaments if you putt like that. I hit about 75% of fairways and greens last season but only my putting let me down,” lamented Lin, a five-time Asian Tour champion.


Banchory's James Byrne faces an uphill struggle to beat the halfway cut in the Asian Tour's Solaire Open at the Wack Wack Golf Club, Manila in the Philippines.
He shot an opening, error-strewn  five-over-par 77 to be sharing 91st place, some 11 shots behind the leader, American Dodge Kemmer who had a bogey-free six-under 66.
Byrne ran up a triple bogey 7 at the first hole and lurched backwards and forwards between some very good golf and some not so good play.
He birdied the third, fourth and 10th but bogeyed the seventh, short eighth, long 13th, 17th and 18th in halves of 39 (three over) and 38 (two over).
Scores after round 1 of the Solaire Open 2013 being played at the par 72, 7222 Yards Wack Wack GcC course (a- denotes amateur):
66 - Dodge KEMMER (USA).
69 - LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Mars PUCAY (PHI).
70 - Matt JAGER (AUS), BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR), Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN), Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA), Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA).
71 - MO Joong-kyung (KOR), Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN), Kwanchai TANNIN (THA).
72 - Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), WANG Jeung-hun (KOR), LIN Wen-hong (TPE), Angelo QUE (PHI), Richard T. LEE (CAN), LIN Keng-chi (TPE), Rory HIE (INA), Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA), Yoshinobu TSUKADA (JPN), Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Young NAM (KOR), KIM Gi-whan (KOR), Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG), Danny CHIA (MAS), Arnold VILLACENCIO (PHI), Carl SANTOS-OCAMPO (PHI).
77 James Byrne (Scotland) (T91) 

 Johor Bahru, Malaysia, April 11: Venezuela’s Wolmer Murillo edged into a one-shot lead over local hope Nicholas Fung at the halfway stage of the PGM-Maybank Johor Masters on Thursday.
The 32-year-old Murillo, playing in his rookie year in Asia, carded a four-under-par 68 for a two-day total of 10-under-par 134 in the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event at the Johor Country Club.
Fung, the co-overnight leader with Murillo, battled to a 69 which included five birdies against two bogeys to stay in the hunt for his first ADT title after several close shaves.
England’s Grant Jackson carded a 68 to lie a further shot back in third place while a group of seven players,  including Asian Tour winner Airil Rizman of Malaysia and Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn, share fourth on 139, five shots behind in what is the fourth leg of this season’s ADT.
Murillo enjoyed a fast start with three opening birdies after starting the day from the 10th tee but the challenging Johor Country Club bared its fangs as he dropped three shots while shooting four more birdies on his inward nine.
“You have to be careful on this golf course. It will be important for me to keep to the same course management for the next two rounds,” said Murillo.
“I have a chance to win as long as I can keep the rhythm going with my putting and stay patient. It’s my first season in Asia and I love it here. The ADT is a big opportunity to try to play your way onto the Asian Tour.”
The 22-year-old Fung, the reigning Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour number one, remained on course for his first ADT victory, which will offer the winner six points on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“Overall it was good although I didn’t hit my irons as close as yesterday,” said the slightly built Malaysian, who finished runner-up in the previous ADT stop in Malaysia.
He was disappointed to three-putt the seventh green for one of two bogeys in his round but he produced a good comeback birdie at the eighth hole where he hit it close to the pin from a near impossible position near the jungle which lines the course.
“It was a good comeback from bogey, got it close from the jungle,” said Fung.
“I’ll just go out and play in the next two rounds. I’ve had so many runners-up finishes in the past and I think I’ve learned to just let it happen,” added the Malaysian, who registered three victories last season.
Jackson used an eagle on the second hole to keep in touch with the leaders while title holder Luke Bleumink of Australia carded a 71 for a 140 total, six shots back.
Brunei’s Faiz Damit made the cut for the first time as a professional as he safely made it into the last two rounds after adding a level par 72 to his opening 71 for a 143 total.
The top three players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2014 while all events receive Official World Golf Ranking points from this season onwards.
Leading second round scores
134: Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 66-68
135: Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66-69
136: Grant JACKSON (ENG) 68-68
139: Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 69-70, Hendre Izak CELLIERS (RSA) 69-70, Daniel BRINGOLF (AUS) 70-69, LEE Cho-chuan (TPE) 71-68, R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 70-69, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 71-68, Ratchapol JANTAVARA             (THA) 73-66
140: Luke BLEUMINK (AUS) 69-71, Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN) 69-71, Iain STEEL (MAS) 69-71, Shaun MALONE (ENG) 71-69, Hanafiah JAMIL (MAS) 72-68, Akhmal TARMIZEE (MAS) 69-71, HSIEH Tung-shu (TPE) 68-72, Darren TAN (AUS) 69-71



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