September 4: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat once again signaled he is a star of the future when he took the first round clubhouse lead today in the US$50,000 B-ing Championship on the Mercedes-Benz Tour.
The 19 year old shot a sterling seven-under-par 65 at Pattana Golf and Sports Resort, near Chonburi in Thailand.
His compatriot Sirapong Maitreeyuenyong returned a 66, while hot on the their heels is one of their countries greatest golfers Thaworn Wiratchant, in with a 67.
A delay caused by rain and lightening meant that 66 out of the 144 players were unable to complete their rounds. Among them was Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat who was three under with two to play.
Bangkok boy Kiradech registered seven birdies, including on all four par fives.
“I always enjoy playing this course and as I am playing quite well at the moment everything went well out there,” said Kiradech.
The Mercedes-Benz Tour aims at nurturing young talent like Kiradech and the teen titan has certainly been benefiting from its launch in 2007.
In the Singha E San Open last year, playing his first event as a professional, he signed off with a sizzling 10-under-par 61 to roar up the leader board to sixth spot.
This year he claimed joint fourth in the Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines – which was won by Wisut.
Thaworn, who won the Bangkok Airways Open this year for his 10th title on the Asian Tour, carded six birdies and one bogey.
“It’s a nice relaxing first round. Just how I like to start an event,” said Thaworn, who finished seventh on the Asian Tour last week in Indonesia.
The B-ing Championship is the fifth event on this year’s Mercedes-Benz Tour and is being co-sanctioned with the All Thailand Golf Tour.
Other top players in the hunt are Thailand’s Atthaphon Prathummanee, who returned a 68, and Thammanoon Srirot who fired a 69.
Completed first round scores:
(Thai unless stated)
65 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat
66 – Sirapong Maitreeyuenyong
67 – Thaworn Wiratchant
68 – Atthaphon Prathummanee, Phumsak Saibua, Manas Saengsui
69 – Thammanoon Srirot, Metee Siripot
70 – Thanachai Sornthum, Chaipat Darapanich, Pravee Visalkit, Apichat Papitak (a), Khor Keng Hwai (MAS), Tepphatud Senawong, Kim Yeup (KOR), Pongthep Jaewchamnanchao
72 – Felix Casas (PHI), Panuwat Muenlek, S. Sivachandran (MAS)
73 – Michael Bibat (PHI)