12 October 2017

Trio Shares Honors on Combiphar Players Championship

Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang, Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn and Steve Lewton of England overcame the blustery conditions to sign for matching two-under-par 69s and share the opening lead at the Combiphar Players Championship on Wednesday.

A host of players, including last week’s winner Blake Snyder of the United States and Malaysia’s Arie Irawan, battled to equal 71s to trail by two shots in seventh place at the US$100,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.On a day where wind speed reached up to 26 miles per hour and only six players broke par, the trio stood firmly grounded to lead by one shot over Merit leader Masaru Takahashi of Japan, South African Mathiam Keyser and Thailand’s Pitipat Pitimana-are at the New Kuta Golf, Bali.

Jakraphan, a one-time ADT winner, fired five birdies against three bogeys while Choo traded four birdies against two dropped shots to sit atop the leaderboard. Lewton, a former winner on the Asian Tour, was the only player in the 99-man field to stay bogey-free with two birdies.

“I played really well today, given the windy conditions out there. My tee shots were very good. It is important to hit good tee shots on tough days like this. I made a good birdie on 15 after rolling in a 60-footer. That was the highlight for me today,” said the 25-year-old Jakraphan.

Choo credited his strong mental resilience for a solid round. Starting from the 10th hole, the Singaporean nailed three birdies in his opening six holes before dropping two shots to turn in 35. He added one more birdie on his way home.

“It was really challenging today with the windy conditions. I started well, making a few putts after hitting some good shots. I had a good chip-in for par from about 15 yards on the 16th hole which was the highlight for me.

“Putting was key for me today and I kept my mental game in check, trying not to get frustrated out there. My distance control was also good in the wind today,” said the 30-year-old Choo, who is chasing for a breakthrough win on the ADT.

The Combiphar Players Championship is the 14th leg of the ADT schedule and also the Tour’s second stop in Indonesia this season.

The winner of the Combiphar Players Championship will take home a prize purse of US$17,500 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points while the top-six players and ties earn points based on a sliding scale.

The leading five players on the final Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn their Asian Tour cards for the 2018 season.

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