Amardip Malik shoots 66 as Johannes Veerman takes Queens Cup lead

Amardip Malik made six birdies including three in a row from the 14th to end the first day of the Queen's Cup at T6. Johannes Veerman fired a brilliant 62 to take charge of the lead

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Asian Tour Release, 29 November 2018: Amardip Malik made six birdies including three in a row from the 14th to end the first day of the Queen’s Cup at T6. Kshitij Naveed Kaul, one of the country’s most promising talents alongside Karandeep Kochhar, is playing the Queen’s on a special invite from the Asian Tour. Kaul is in T21 with Rashid Khan and M Dharma, after each of the three men made 68 in the opening round.

Abhijit Chaddha and Shiv Kapur made 69 each to account for the Indians in the field at better than par, which is 70. Jeev Milkha Singh at 71 and SSP Chawrasia at 72 will need a significantly improved performance on Friday to avoid missing the cut.

American Johannes Veerman produced the fireworks with a magnificent eight-under-par 62 to lead by three shots at the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Veerman, who was crowned the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion in 2016, rode on a hot putter at the US$500,000 event to put up a near-perfect round which included one eagle and seven birdies against a lone bogey at the highly-rated Legacy Golf Club.

Starting from the 10th hole, Veerman took advantage of the calm morning conditions to nail a pair of birdies on 12th and 13th before pulling away with five straight birdies from the 15th hole. He dropped a shot for his only blemish on his card on the par-three fifth but would bounce back swiftly with an eagle-three on the next after sinking a 20-footer.

Defending champion Jazz Janewattananond also got off to a brilliant start with a 65 highlighted by an eagle on hole 15 after sticking his approach to three-feet.

The Thai took a share of second place with compatriots Thaworn Wiratchant and Kosuke Hamamoto, as well as Miguel Tabuena of Philippines.

Thai prodigy Phachara Khongwatmai, placed 54th on the Habitat for Humanity Standings and among those fighting to keep their cards for 2019, is among the seven players bunched in tied-sixth following matching 66s, just four shots off the pace.

The Queen’s Cup, held in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, is celebrating its 11th edition this week with Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee being the tournament host.

Did you know?

·       Johannes Veerman is chasing his breakthrough victory on the Asian Tour with his father on his bag this week.

·       Veerman missed only three fairways and needed only 24 putts around the greens for his commendable round of 62, which marks his lowest round this year.

·       The American finished tied-10th at the Queen’s Cup presented by Bangchak held in July which sparked the first of four consecutive top-10 finishes he recorded this season.

·       Kosuke Hamamoto is playing in his first Asian Tour event as a professional this week. He joined the play-for-pay ranks in September this year.

·       Kosuke is born to a Japanese father and a Thai mother. His family is based in Thailand and he travels to Japan once a year to celebrate the new year.

·       Thaworn Wiratchant is one of Thailand’s most decorated stars with 18 Asian Tour wins under his belt and two Order of Merit crowns.

·       He is aiming to become the first Thai to win the prestigious trophy three times after winning the showpiece in 2012 and 2014.

·       Jazz Janewattananond secured his second Asian Tour title in July at the Queen’s Cup presented by Bangchak in July when he birdied five of his closing nine holes.

·       The Thai, who made his Major debut earlier this year at The Open Championship, has recorded five top-10 finishes this season, including a runner-up result at the Sarawak Championship in July.

·       Miguel Tabuena claimed his first Asian Tour win at the Philippine Open presented by ICTSI in 2015.

·       He did not miss a single green thanks to his solid ball-striking and only missed one fairway in his opening round.

Players’ Quotes:

Johannes Veerman (Usa)- First Round 62 (-8)

My round overall was pretty good, it was one of the those rounds that just came out of nowhere. I have been playing decently and today everything just came together. Last week I didn’t play as well but I was hitting it alright.

When I started this morning there wasn’t whole lot of wind, I made some birdies and got some momentum and then it just kept rolling. I had a string of birdies that started on the 15th. I was making everything from inside 15-feet which helped a lot.

I made an eagle on hole six which was the highlight of my day. I just bogeyed the hole before and was trying to get that behind me as quick as I could. I hit a good drive down the fairway followed by a five-iron from about 200 yards to about 20-feet. The putt was downhill with a slight break and I saw the line and stuck to it.

Kosuke Hamamoto (Tha)- First Round 65 (-5)

Today was pretty stress-free for me except for hole 11 when I hit a bad drive to the right and didn’t recover well on that hole. I lost focus on that hole and didn’t stick to my game plan so I was pretty frustrated with that double-bogey.

I got luck on the next hole, I didn’t hit a good tee shot but I manged to hole out from the greenside bunker to make birdie It was definitely the turning point for me and I got my momentum going again.

But overall, I am happy with my opening round. This is only my sixth tournament since I turned professional two months ago.

Jazz Janewattananond- First Round 65 (-5)

Honestly overall my game wasn’t that great. There wasn’t anything exceptional about today. I missed a couple of short putts and didn’t hit it that great. I was just trying to keep myself steady all round and put up a decent score.

I made some really silly mistakes today. Like on hole six it is a pretty easy hole but I made bogey there because my drive ended up in a bad lie.

The highlight of my round would have to be hole 15, I hit my approach to about three feet with my five-wood and made the putt for eagle. Sanghyun (Park) also made an eagle on that hole from off the green when he chipped in.

Miguel Tabuena- First Round 65 (-5)

My round was really good and I played really well today. Although I shot five-under-par I think I left a lot of shots out there because I was striking it well today. It could have been an even lower round if I just dropped a couple more putts in the first nine.

Although I missed the cut last week in Hong Kong I knew that I was playing well and it showed this week.

I started out a little slow and I just told myself I was hitting it really well and I just need to pull myself together and drop more putts. When I birdied hole 10, it was my turning point and I knew I could go a lot lower in my back nine.

Scores after round 1 of the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation being played at the par 70, 6939 Yards Legacy GC course (am – denotes amateur):

62 – Johannes Veerman (USA).

65 – Kosuke Hamamoto (THA), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Miguel Tabuena (PHI), Jazz Janewattananond (THA).

66 – Vanchai Luangnitikul (am, THA), Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA), Amardip Malik (IND), Kammalas Namuangruk (THA), Phachara Khongwatmai (THA), Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA), Natipong Srithong (THA).

67 – Peradol Panyathanasedh (THA), Giwhan Kim (KOR), Lu Wei-chih (TPE), Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA), Ben Leong (MAS), Ratchapol Jantavara (THA), Pelle Edberg (SWE), Philip Matsson (THA).

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