Tuesday, May 09, 2017

James Byrne in sixth place after Mountain Creek Open Round 1

KORAT (Thailand) -  Lionel Weber will take a big lead — and a lot of confidence — into the final round of the Mountain Creek Open by Golf Citizen after carding a sparkling second round 67 at the Seve Ballesteros-designed course on Tuesday.


The Frenchman, who is chasing his first win on the MENA Tour, ran in seven birdies, including five on the front nine, against two bogeys to reach 11-under for the tournament, a good four shots clear of England’s Luke Joy, who carded a bogey-free 68.


Switzerland’s Dubai-based amateur Michael Harradine stayed in the frame, sharing third with Thailand’s Pattaraphol Khanthacha on six under as Blake Snyder of the United States occupied solo fifth a further a shot adrift, one ahead of Banchory’s James Byrne on four-under 140 (72-68)

Byrne birdied the third, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth in an outward half of 31. He bogeyed the short 12th and long 13th but finished with a sixth birdie at the long 18th.

Aberdonian Clarke Lutton missed the cut with rounds of 73 and 79 for 152.


It was Webber, who kept up his prime form to leave many known players in the shade with another solid effort.


“I feel my game is in great shape. Although I hear some players have lost many balls, I am still playing with the same lucky one. The course is pretty tricky and you need to shape the ball a lot — and I did that,” said the Frenchman, who finished in a tie for seventh at last week’s MahaSamutre Masters after hitting the front on the opening day.


“Also, you need to focus on every shot. It always feels good to be in Thailand as it’s a great place to play golf,” said Weber, who is attached to Banyan Golf Club.


England’s Joy, a two-time winner on the MENA Tour, has given himself another shot at the title, keeping it clean in the second round.


“It’s a course where you have to be very patient. It’s quite fiddly. It goes from fairway to jungle and there is not much in-between. I actually lost my ball on Monday as we were playing in fading light after a thunderstorm forced suspension of play.


“I played quite steady today and going bogey-free always feels good. This is a course you do not want to overpower yourself. In fact, I have used my driver just three times,” said the talented Englishman.


Harradine, a 33-year-old Swiss national team representative, carded another three red numbers on Tuesday against just one bogey to extend his lead over his nearest challenger Rayhan Thomas in the amateur division.


Par 144 (2x72)
133 Lionel Weber (Fra) 66 67.
137 Luke Joy (Eng) 69 68.
138  Michael Harradine  (Swi) (am) 68 70, Pattaraphol Khanthacha (Thai) 70 68.

140 James Byrne (Sco) 72 68 (6th).


152 Clarke Lutton (Sco) 73 79





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