Golf: Thongchai surges up Hong Kong leaderboard
Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee made waves at the Hong Kong Open Saturday after a six-under-par 64 made him the pick of the third round’s early starters surging up the leaderboard.
The ex-paratrooper, who last month won his seventh European Tour title with victory at the European Open in Germany, fired six birdies and no bogeys for a 54-hole total of eight-under 202.
Today we have a late green, we have 26 putts, that’s why we’re putting better than yesterday,” Thongchai told AFP after his round.
“The course is very tricky, the green is very bumpy, and you play in the afternoon will be more bumpy… This morning the green is more smooth.”
Ranked 33rd in the world, Thongchai became the first Thai to complete in all four majors after making his Masters debut in 2006, and is currently 10th in the Race to Dubai.
Saturday’s performance showed a significant improvement over his first two rounds, and particularly day one when four bogeys left him at one over par.
The 45-year-old said self-belief would be key to how he played on Sunday.
You have to have confidence with the putting… Hopefully (I’ll be) putting well tomorrow,” he said.
I want to win… but there’s quite a strong field this week,” he added, describing world number seven and second round co-leader Justin Rose as “a star player”.
For me I enjoy to play. If not win top five, top 10, doesn’t matter. I enjoy to play the course.”