Friday, January 18, 2019

Poom and Casey share Singapore Open lead on seven-under-par
 
Sentosa, Singapore, January 18: Poom Saksansin showed he is the man for the big occasion again when he completed an exhausting day with a second round one-under-par 70 to share the clubhouse lead with England’s Paul Casey at the weather-hit SMBC Singapore Open on Friday.
Regarded by Casey as his ‘nemesis’, Poom got the better of the world number 24 again in their opening round and matched the Englishman’s two-day total of seven-under-par 135 at the US$1 million event which has been disrupted by several weather suspensions over the last two days.
Close to two hours of play was lost in the morning due to inclement weather. It was abandoned at 7.05pm local time due to fading light and will now resume at 7.30am where 76 players will return to their positions on Saturday. The third round is not scheduled to start before 12pm.
The Thai had to return early to the Sentosa Golf Club to complete his remaining seven holes from his first round, before heading back to the starting tee after a short 45-minute break.
He birdied four of his last five holes when first round resumed to sign for a 65. After trading two birdies against one bogey for a 70, he is now looking forward to indulge in the local delicacies before taking a much-deserved rest and coming out to fire at all cylinders again.
At 54, American legend Davis Love III showed his level of fitness is still high after completing 25 holes to trail Poom and Casey by two shots with his 137 total at the season-opening event of the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
The World Golf Hall of Famer’s efforts were also met by India’s Chikkarangappa S., Korea’s Yikeun Chang and South Africa’s Shaun Norris. 
Did you know?
  • Poom Saksansin is making his second appearance at the SMBC Singapore Open this week. He finished tied-12th in his debut appearance last year.
  •  Poom ended his 2018 in style by winning the season finale in Indonesia last month for his third Asian Tour title. 
  • Poom claimed his breakthrough at the Indonesian Masters in 2016. He went on to claim a wire-to-wire victory for his second Asian Tour title in India the following year.
  • The 25-year-old Thai is dubbed ‘The Baby-faced Assassin’ for his high-profile defeats of Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey on the Asian Tour last year. He beat Paul Casey in the final day singles at the EurAsia Cup and he is looking to claim another scalp over the Englishman this week.
  • Players' Quotes
Poom Saksansin (Tha) – Second round 70 (-1), Total 135 (-7)
It has been a long day but I am very happy. Although I only shot a one-under for my second round, I think it was a very nice round. The wind was picking up and my iron-play wasn’t that good. To come back with an under-par score, I am really happy with it.
I feel really tired now. I have to go back soon, get a shower and then go to sleep! Casey played really nicely today. He hit it so far on the eighth hole. I really like that shot. I have to follow my own style because he hit it long and I hit it short! But it was good to see him play.
I need to get more practice after this and speak to my coach about my iron-play today. It’s not good now. I keep hooking the shots. I just need a minor fix, I think. Hopefully I can fix that so it will be easier for me tomorrow. 
I want to really get a good rest tonight. I am going to eat some good food, no more 7-Eleven! Maybe I’ll eat chicken rice. Casey hit it nicely from tee to green. I hit it short but my irons were okay and I managed to make some putts. I will try and hit my irons better tomorrow. Nothing else changes.
Paul Casey (Eng) - Second round 67 (-4), Total 135 (-7)
That was a 22-hour round of golf! I’m glad I’ve got the first round done. I feel good! The golf course has changed though, with so much rain overnight. The ground crew and everybody here should be applauded, because it’s still in fabulous shape. 
But it feels like it’s getting a little bit trickier out there. We’ve got a great looking leaderboard, with some favourite names right up there. Poom, my nemesis – I lost to him in the EurAsia Cup and he’s just played a marvellous round of golf again, I can’t seem to beat the guy, but I’m in good spirits.
Davis Love III (USA) – Second round 68 (-3), Total 137 (-5)
I am pretty good (on his level of fatigue). I wouldn’t have wanted to do 36, but I did 25 and that is enough. Now I get to rest and hopefully I will get 18 tomorrow afternoon.  I’m a little disappointed with my round, I don’t know what day it is. 
The first round that ended today – I didn’t end very well and I threw away a few shots in the second round as well. But overall, it is my first time around the course, I am under par and not too far out of lead so I am happy.
Shaun Norris (SAf) – Second round 68 (-3), Total 137 (-5) 
My feet are killing me. It’s the first tournament of the year so the body is still not used to all the walking these two days. Unfortunately, the weather is not playing into our hands but overall, I feel very happy that we got to finish our second round today.
It’s always the same thing in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. I am happy to go under par for the first tournament of the year, played nicely for the first two rounds to put myself up there. A nice low weekend would be nice.
I have been playing a lot in Japan. The courses are very tough but I enjoy that. It kind of helped make my golf stronger over the years. Playing in Asia has always been great. I always enjoy it. I finished nicely last year, came in joint-second and earned a ticket to The Open. Hopefully I can finish one spot better this time.
Yikeun Chang (S Korea) – Second round 68 (-3), Total 137 (-5)
It was a long day. I woke up at like 5.30pm today. It’s like over 12 hours. I was really tired towards the end but I just tried my best out there. I struck the ball really well the last two days. I just missed some short birdie putts on the last couple of holes. Other than that, I am doing really well. I am hoping to play well over the weekend.
This is my first event for 2019. This is such a good tournament. I am definitely looking to get the season off to a good start here. I think it’s a good tournament to win. Two more days to go. You never know what can happen on this course.
Just two more days of hardwork and hopefully I can get the job done. Just got to keep hitting the ball good. There are a lot of great players out there. But it would be nice to play my way back to The Open as well. I will try my best.
Chikkarangappa S. (India) – Second round 67 (-5), Total 137 (-5)
I played 30 holes today. I am starting to feel the fatigue now! I didn’t really feel it during the round. I was hitting the ball good and I putted well. The weather was good too compared to yesterday. I was really enjoying myself out there.
I was even-par after six holes. To shoot five-under in the remaining 12 holes, I am really happy with that. It was a very composed round. Everything just went the right way. This is a week that I always look forward to. It’s a great track to play on.
My performances here weren’t that great the past two years. I really worked hard for this. I had a great end to the season in 2018, keeping my card for this season. Just riding on that good form and hoping to continue with that.
Obviously looking to qualify for The Open this week as well. I believe I have done my work. Just another two days of solid golf and I will get there.
Scores after round 2 of the SMBC Singapore Open being played at the par 71, 7403 Yards Sentosa GC course (am - denotes amateur):
par 142 (2x71)
 135 - Poom Saksansin (THA) 65-70, Paul Casey (ENG) 68-67.
136 - Taihei Sato (JPN) 65-71, Shotaro Wada (JPN) 66-70.
137 - Davis Love III (USA) 69-68, Shaun Norris (RSA) 69-68, Sihwan Kim (USA) 70-67, Yikeun Chang (KOR) 69-68, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 71-66, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 67-70, Dongkyu Jang (KOR) 71-66.
138 - Jarin Todd (USA) 69-69, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 72-66, Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 66-72.
139 - Johannes Veerman (USA) 70-69, Justin Harding (RSA) 68-71, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 70-69, Yuwa Kosaihira (JPN) 69-70.
140 - Micah Lauren Shin (USA) 69-71, Paul Peterson (USA) 68-72, Arjun Atwal (IND) 67-73, Angelo Que (PHI) 68-72, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 69-71, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 67-73, Shunya Takeyasu (JPN) 70-70, Scott Vincent (ZIM) 71-69, Zach Murray (AUS) 71-69.
For completed round two scores, please download it here.

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