Sep 21, 2017:Chiba Prefecture, Japan, September 21: Japan’s Tadahiro Takayama rode on a hot putter to sign for a stunning nine-under-par 62, grabbing the opening round lead by two shots at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on Thursday.
S Chikkarangappa shot a soild 67 in the first round of the Asian Tour event.
“It was a good round. It’s good to be playing well again after a very long time. The season’s been quite a bit of up and downs for me so I have been looking for a good start. I managed to get off to a good start today” said Chikka.
I went back to my old way of putting and I managed to putt well today. I gained a lot of confidence from the way I putted today as well. Also with my driver, I made some changes to the shaft and it’s working very well now.
I am quite happy with my round. I was eagerly looking for something like this. I made a brilliant par on hole nine after sinking a 70 to 80 feet putt. I gained a lot of positives and confidence heading into the back nine.
I had a good putt for birdie on the 16th hole from 15 feet as well. I made a good birdie on the second hole after hitting my tee shot into a thick rough. Placement of ball is very important on this course. You need to think about where to place your shots and how to avoid the roughs.
I like something like this where every hole is different. It’s a unique golf course and I really like the layout here. I hope to continue my good form for tomorrow” said young Indian Chikka.
Takayama, a five-time winner on the local circuit, fired 10 birdies against a bogey to stay atop the leaderboard while Korea’s K.T. Kim, a two-time winner of the tournament in 2010 and 2015, lurks in second place following a 64.
Thai hotshot Pavit Tangkamolprasert’s calculated game plan paid off when he returned with a 65 to trail by three shots in third place alongside Ryuji Masaoka of Japan at the ¥?150 million (approximately US$1.37 million) event.
The 28-year-old Thai, who played without a driver in his bag, took advantage of his pinpoint approach shots and acute short game to open up a round of seven birdies against one bogey at the Caledonian Golf Club.
Satoshi Kodaira of Japan, Younghan Song of Korea and South African Jbe Kruger shared fifth place after carding identical rounds of 66 at the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the JGTO.
Did you know?
- Takayama is a five-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO). His fifth and last victory came at the 2011 Casio World Open in Japan.
- The 39-year-old Takayama enjoyed a tied-21st place finish at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup last year.
- Takayama needed only 23 putts around the greens for his opening 62.
- Pavit is the only player in the field without a driver in the bag this week.
- Pavit was crowned the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion in 2014. He holds a total of five victories on the secondary circuit, sharing the record with Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang.
- Pavit won his first Asian Tour title at the 2016 Macao Open in sensational style by defeating Indian star Anirban Lahiri on the first play-off hole.
- Pavit sits in 55th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. His best result this season was a tied-11th place finish at the SMBC Singapore Open in January.
- Kim is a two-time winner of the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup in 2010 and 2015.
- The 31-year-old Kim holds two titles on the Asian Tour and 13 titles on the JGTO.