May 09, 2019: Thailand’s Danthai Boonma laid down the early marker when he opened with a flawless four-under-par 67 to take the first round lead under blustery conditions at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on Thursday.
Viraj Madappa is the best performing Indian in the field at T20. Viraj shot three birdies at 2nd, 3rd and 11th holes. Back to back four bogeys from 12th to 15th holes pulled him to close at one-over 72. Khalin Joshi is one shot behind Viraj at T3 with two-over 73. Following Khalin with one shot behind, Chikkarangappa is at T65 with three-over 74.
On a day where only 12 out of 144 players broke par, Danthai emerged as the leader of the pack when he marked his card with two birdies and an eagle to stay ahead at the Sobu Country Club.
The Thai, a one-time Asian Tour winner, has already won twice this year with victories coming from a domestic event in February and on the Japan Challenge Tour last month.
Australia’s Brendan Jones remained a threat to Danthai’s title ambitions as he trails the Thai by one after signing for a 68 to share second place with Japan’s Tomoyo Ikemura.
The experienced Australian is no stranger to success in Japan, holding multiple wins in the Land of the Rising Sun, with the latest coming only last month in Nagoya.
Asia’s first Major winner, Y.E. Yang of Korea returned with a 69 to take tied-fourth place while Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng, Prom Meesawat together with Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena and Japan’s Shugo Imahira are bunched in equal ninth place after they posted matching 70s.
The Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup is the Asian Tour’s first stop in Japan this season and second of four co-sanctioned events with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) this year.