Feb 18, 2017: Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai showed maturity beyond his age when he secured the last spot for Sunday’s matchplay showdown with a par at the third play-off hole at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth on Saturday.
Only 17, Phachara calmly held his nerves after hitting a poor tee shot which led to a bogey at the first play-off hole. He could have confirmed his place earlier at the second play-off hole had his birdie putt not sail just inches away from the pin.
The Thai, who then went up against New Zealand’s Ryan Fox in the third play-off hole, judged his chip beautifully from the back of the green after Fox had misread his line for a par. That left him with an easy tap-in for par which would later spark wild celebrations from the Thai contingent gathered at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
“This is a very good format and it’s very exciting. You’re used to making the cut after two days and now you’re trying to make another one after three days followed by a matchplay. But it’s going to be fun. I’ve been involved in several matchplay in my professional career including captaining Team Asia in the EurAsia Cup last year. I like to play aggressive golf and it’s going to be fun. I like matchplay format as you can put the pressure on the other person and making sure you hit the second shot close to the hole”, said Jeev.
Home favourite Brett Rumford of Australia emerged as the leader of the pack after returning with a four-under-par 68 at the AUD$1.75 million event that is that is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour.
Interesting facts of the day:
- The top-24 players will feature in Sunday’s final day matchplay rounds.
- Sunday’s finale will bring together five rounds of six-hole matchplay battles
- The top eight players will receive a bye into the second match play round.
- Any ties for the top eight will be decided by a score count back based on the last 18, 9, 6, 3 and 1 holes.
- Rumford will be seeded straight through to the second round together with the other players who finished in the top-eight. They are Jason Scrivener (AUS), Austin Connelly (CAN), Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Adam Blyth (AUS), Lucas Herbert (AUS), Steven Jeffress (AUS), and Jake Higginbottom (AUS).
- Casey O’Toole will take on Matthew Millar in match 3 with the winner going on to face Major winner Louis Oosthuizen
- Johannes Veerman will face off with Daniel Fox in match four with the winner going on to meet Adam Blyth
- Phachara Khongwatmai, who will come up against Sam Brazel in match 6, is competing in his first ever matchplay event since he turned professional in 2014.
- Jeev Milkha Singh takes on David Bransdon in match 7. Singh was Team Asia’s captain at the EurAsia Cup last year.