Poom Saksansin’s error-free round helps him take lead in Take Solutions Masters
Poom Saksansin ended Day 1 of the Take Solutions Masters on the top of the scoreboard.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 23:09 IST
If Poom Saksansin wasn’t a professional golfer, he would have been a dentist. The 24-year- old Thai worked with the same precision with his irons on a challenging Karnataka Golf Association golf course, as required on the dentist’s chair, to produce a bogey-free round of 7-under 64 and grab the opening day’s honours in the $300,000 Take Solutions Masters here on Thursday.
Viraj Madappa, who has made Bangalore his home in recent years, signed in a card of 5- under 66 and was tied with country-mate Divyanshu Bajaj for the second position. Another local lad Syed Saquib Ahmed made a bogey on the finishing hole to be tied for fourth position along with Spaniard Carlos Pigem and Sujjan Singh of India at 4-under 67.
Among the favourites, SSP Chawrasia, who was once 4-under after 15 lost two shots in the last three holes to be tied for the 12 th spot while Shiv Kapur made a double bogey on the penultimate hole to finish at 1-under 70 and shared the 24th position. Jeev Milkha Singh shot a dismal 8-over 79 and may miss the cut.
Saksansin, who turned pro at an early age of 20 four seasons ago to reduce the financial burden on his parents, won the Indonesian Masters last year for his maiden Asian Tour title. On Thursday, he began his chase for a second one in the right earnest, firing birdies on the opening two holes after starting from the 10th, courtesy his iron-play. He was quick to take advantage of the favourable wind conditions and parred his way until the turn.
Beginning his return journey with a hat-trick of birdies, Saksansin saved one more shot on the par-5 fifth before signing off with a birdie on the par-4 ninth where he chipped-in from the back of the green. “I was lucky as I overshot the green a bit and was just thinking of making an up and down,” said the leader. “I did not drive that well but my irons gave me a chance for birdies,” said the leader who hit 14 greens in regulation and made just 25 putts.
Meanwhile, local challenger Viraj Madappa, who shifted base to Bangalore to further his golf and studies, also shot a blemish-free round of 5-under that included an eagle on the par-5 11th and three birdies on the 12th, 17th and eighth.
Top scores after 18 holes:
64 Poom Saksansin (THA); 66 Viraj Madappa (IND), Divyanshu Bajaj (IND), 67 Syed Saquib Ahmed (IND), Carlos Pigem (ESP), Sujjan Singh (IND); 68 Scott Barr (AUS), Chikkarangappa S (IND), Todd Sinnott (AUS), Khalin Joshi (IND), Om Prakash Chouhan (IND).