Last-hole impetus separates Rattanon from field in Singapore

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Rattanon Wannasrichan- TheGolfingHub
Rattanon Wannasrichan eagled the 626-yard par-five 18th to take the lead after the second round at The Singapore International. Photo: Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan sensationally eagled the 626-yard par-five 18th to take the  lead after the second round at The Singapore International today at the Tanah Merah Country Club.

The 26-year-old fired a six-under-par 66 for a two-shot lead, on five under, over Ratchanon Chantananuwat, Thailand’s 14-year-old amateur golf sensation, and India’s Khalin Joshi.

 

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Ratchanon, nicknamed “TK”, also returned a 66 while first-round leader Joshi carded a 74.

On another difficult day in strong winds on an exacting Tampines Course, Rattanon took some of the attention away from headline grabbing Ratchanon with his brilliant finish. 

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“The 18th was playing downwind. My second shot was with a three wood, it was a low cut. I was just hoping for a good shot, and it finished 10 feet away. It was a little but lucky,” said Rattanon, whose sole Asian Tour victory came in the 2018 Thailand Open. 

“Today I played very well. My shots were very good. I am super happy. I had one bogey and it was a three putt. Every hole was so good. This course is so difficult, very, very difficult and windy. I am super surprised because this course is so hard.”

 

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Ratchanon, who is playing in his first professional event overseas, shot 75 yesterday and complained of feeling unwell but was thrilled to get himself back in contention today with a round that saw him hit all 14 fairways despite the wind.

“Yesterday I was just sick, I got heat stroke since Wednesday. I was sneezing quite a lot on the golf course, and I played 18 and went to the range for an hour and half and that was a bit too much,” he said.

“It was hot, and I always get sick if it’s too hot. I was sneezing so much and some of the holes I could barely open my eyes when I was walking. And I was so hungry as well: I had an apple, a banana, two 100plus and two chocolate bars through seven holes. But I had some medicine and slept late night and played better today.

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“And it’s not just the score. I am just really happy with the way I am playing because it’s the first time I have played a course this hard.”

Said Joshi: “My putting wasn’t good today. It wasn’t a good day on the greens for me. I struggled with the putter but overall, I am happy with the way I’m playing. Obviously, it was tough out there. It’s not going to be easy. The winds were up. I felt like I should have capitalised more earlier in the day because it wasn’t as windy as now. But overall, I’m in a good position and just looking forward to the next two days.”

 

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Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, finished in solo possession of sixth place on level par after a 73.

Wade Ormsby, the current leader of the Merit list, is in a tie for 10th on two over following a 74. 

The Australian is not playing in next week’s season-ending SMBC Singapore Open so needs a strong finish over the weekend to hold on to top spot on the Merit list with a host of leading players chasing him.

Top Round 2 Scores
139 – Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 73-66.
141 – Khalin Joshi (IND) 67-74, Ratchanon Chantananuwat (am, THA) 75-66.
143 – Paul Peterson (USA) 70-73, Angelo Que (PHI) 72-71.
144 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 71-73.
145 – Joohyung Kim (KOR) 72-73, S Chikkarangappa (IND) 75-70, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 70-75.

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