Lee retains clubhouse lead as Chapchai sets course record
Lee-sung made a birdie on the final hole of his second round as
he hung on to the clubhouse lead at the Bangkok Airways Open on
Lee, who turned pro in 2000, continued his drive for a maiden title
after a two-under-par 69 for a two-day total of seven-under-par
135 at the scenic par-71 Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Play was suspended at 6:40pm due to darkness and will resume at
6:50am on Saturday morning. Filipino Marciano Pucay, Kao Bo-song,
Ty Puekdang and Troy Kennedy of Australia will continue play on
Local hero Chapchai Nirat ended his round with seven birdies for
a new course record of 64 in joint second place. Chapchai beat the
previous record of 65 set by compatriot and defending champion Chawalit
Plaphol in 2005. Also in tied second position was Chinese Taipeis
Lin Wen-tang who shot a 67 in the US$300,00 event.
S.S.P Chowrasia of India carded a 66 and leaped to tied fourth
spot alongside Singapores Mardan Mamat who posted a 65 and
Australian young gun Adam Blyth who shot a 68 two strokes off the
Starting on the back nine, Lee took an early stumble with a double
bogey on the 11th hole but bounced back with birdies on the 13th
and 15th holes. Lee, with the guidance of his brother and caddie
Lee Sung-joo, fired a birdie on the first hole and edged ahead of
the chasing pack with a two feet birdie putt on the final ninth
I played well. The last hole was nice. I dont feel
any pressure because Ive been very focused on my game,
said Lee, who communicates through his brother by lip reading.
I was very happy with the way I ended the round as my chip
in left the ball two feet away for birdie. It was crucial as it
gave me a one stroke lead over the other players. I am enjoying
myself out there and I always like playing on this course,
Chapchai, who won the TCL Classic in March, believes that his caddie,
Manop Santiet, was the pillar behind his record performance that
included seven birdies.
I get along really well with my caddie who has been with
me for the past six months. I am normally an aggressive player but
you cant afford to be too aggressive here. Manop is good at
telling me when to go all out and when not to. This was the key
today for me, said Chapchai.
My 12 foot birdie putt on the 12th hole was the highlight
for me because it was a tough out there, he added.
With the support of his family, Chinese Taipeis Lin closed
in with an eagle at the 559 yards ninth hole as he is eager to produce
the winning result this week.
Just last week I was having a discussion with my wife about
moving into a bigger house because my two kids, although still very
young, are growing and need more space. I guess this has inspired
me to have a strong run here, said Lin, who ended his title
drought with a win at the Taiwan Open last year.
My putting and approach shots have been very consistent as
seen on the ninth hole today. After teeing off, I was 195 yards
away from the pin but a superb second shot with my five iron left
the ball a mere one feet away for eagle, added Lin.
Mardan, who finished runner-up in Wales last week, remained cool
in Koh Samui with seven birdies against a lone dropped shot.
I had a bad start with a bogey on the 10th hole but recovered
with five straight birdies. I kept my cool and was patient throughout.
I wanted it to fall into place and play my own game, so Im
pleased, said Mardan.
Chowrasia, thanks to a change in putter this week, is back in the
groove firing a 66. Thailands Thaworn Wiratchant shot his
second straight 69 in tied seventh spot alongside Neven Basic of
Australia who improved with a 67. Defending champion Chawalit Plaphol
carded a 67 with a 140 total in joint 12th place.
Leading second round scores (click
here for full leaderboard):
135 - Lee Sung (KOR) 66-69
136 - Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 69-67, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 72-64
137 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 72-65, Adam Blyth (AUS) 69-68, S.S.P.
Chowrasia (IND) 71-66
138 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 69-69, Neven Basic (AUS) 71-67,
139 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-67, Gurbaaz Mann (IND) 73-66, Taichiro
Kiyota (JPN) 70-69
140 - Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 71-69, Tony Lascuna (PHI) 70-70, Ben Leong
Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 73-67
141 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-70, Shimizu Yoichi (JPN) 70-71,
Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-72, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 70-71, Yeh Chang-ting
(TPE) 69-72, Guido Van Der Valk (NLD) 69-72
June 8, 2007