Friday, January 19, 2018


Sentosa, Singapore: Chapchai Nirat of Thailand rolled back the years and carded a blistering seven-under-par 64 and a seven-under-par 135 total to capture the clubhouse lead after two rounds of the SMBC Singapore Open on Friday.
Long-time fans of Singapore’s National Open will remember his many exploits on the Serapong course. In 2012, he surged to the top of the leaderboard after round one before settling for a tied-seventh finish.
This year, the burly 34-year-old did not put a foot wrong in round two as he fired seven birdies to lead by one shot from Tirawat Kaewsiribandit of Thailand and Shaun Norris of South Africa.
Tirawat stayed in the hunt after carding a second-round 70. The Thai golfer maintained his good form after an opening 66 and started steadily with 10 straight pars. He scored a bogey and two birdies before ending his round. 
Norris is experiencing a happy homecoming so far after spending a year away from the Asian Tour by carding a 67 on Friday. He enjoyed a bogey-free round that is highlighted by an eagle on the fourth and birdies on the second and 14th
Shiv Kapur of India brought his brilliant 2017 form to Singapore. The 35-year-old shot a 67 to go into the weekend just two shots off the lead. He performed brilliantly on his opening nine (10th to 18th) as the made the turn at five-under-par, but admittedly, he has yet to figure out how to score at Serapong’s first nine holes.
Jarin Todd of United States joins Kapur at tied-third. Nine golfers, which includes major winner Louis Oosthuizen, are a shot behind Kapur and Todd at four-under-par.
Choo Tze Huang is Singapore’s best finisher on Friday. He is currently three-under-par.
Round two play was abandoned at 4.42pm local time due to lightning threats. 78 players will resume their rounds at 7.40am local time on Saturday, with round three starting no later than 12.50pm.

Player Interviews:

Chapchai Nirat (Tha) - Second Round 64 (-7), Total 135 (-7)

To finish the round seven-under-par was beyond my expectation. Before coming to this tournament, I tried to adjust and fix my swing flaws with my coach. Today, I was attempting to play the same way as I did during practice and follow my coach's advice.
For this tournament, I didn’t think too much and I didn't set any target. I'm just enjoying the experience and trying to get used to my new golf swing as well as getting a better swing rhythm.
I am so happy and excited to be on top of the leaderboard. I haven’t felt this way on the golf course for so long, at least three years. For the next two day, I will do the same as I did today and don’t think much about the result.

Tirawat Kaewsiribandit - Second Round 70 (-1), Total 136 (-6)

Overall I am happy with the way I played today. I hit 12 fairways and 15 greens, but at some holes, the ball did not land close to the pin.  I only managed to get two birdies today, but it was my plan to play like this, not too aggressive.
My highlight was the par-four hole 13th. It is a tough hole and I made long birdie putt, about 20 feet, and that is the changing point of the day. After that I played with more confidence.
My plan in the next two rounds is to try to finish each round at least two-under-par.

Shaun Norris (South Africa) - Second Round 67 (-4), Total 136 (-6)

I’ve reached my goals and I’m happy with where I am. I think I’m in a good position. It’s always nice to be back and see all your peers whom you’ve travelled with after so long. I’ve been busier with the Japan Tour in the past couple of years, and it’s nice to see everybody and have a bit of fun.
We always think it’s (the winning score at the tournament) going to be a lot lower than what it is, I think it can get to about 14-under-par, but we’ll see what happens.

Shiv Kapur (Ind) - Second Round 67 (-4), Total 137 (-5)
Starting the day, I was even-par and I had a hole and a half to play. I birdied 18th to shoot one-under this morning. Then, I came out playing really good. Five-under-par on the back nine, but I lost my way in the front, my back nine. It's a tough course and there is no let up here. You hit one or two bad shots and it gets you.
Three-putting at the last hole left a sour taste in my mouth. Small margins here, but I played pretty well.
I bogeyed the fifth hole two days in a row. I'll try to figure out how to play that hole a bit better. I haven't birdied four as well. I'll get my head around that stretch (fourth, fifth and sixth) of holes. I seemed to have a good game plan for the back nine. I'm hitting more three-woods there. That's working well and I'm not going to change that.
 I love this golf course. I've been coming here since I started my career in 2005. I've seen it change but it's still hard. The greens are bigger and it's hard to get the ball close. It tests every part of your game. You have to be straight off the tee the second shots are demanding. The greens are quick and sloppy. It's always going to be a tough challenge here.

par 71, 7398 Yards Sentosa GC course (am - denotes amateur):
+78 players have still to complete their second rounds.
135 - Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-64.
136 - Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 66-70, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 69-67.
137 - Shiv KAPUR (IND) 70-67, Jarin TODD (USA) 71-66.
138 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 66-72, Cameron DAVIS (AUS) 68-70, Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 66-72, Eric SUGIMOTO (JPN) 70-68, Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 66-72, Lucas HERBERT (AUS) 68-70, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 68-70, ANDY ZHANG (am, CHN) 72-66, Toshinori MUTO (JPN) 69-69.
139 - CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 70-69, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-68, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 70-69.
140 - Arjun ATWAL (IND) 73-67, Yoshinori FUJIMOTO (JPN) 68-72, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 70-70, Jesse YAP (am, SIN) 68-72, Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 69-71.



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