Poom Saksansin stays ahead in Singapore Open, Chikkarangappa in T6

Poom Saksansin and Paul Casey share Singapore Open lead. Chikkarangappa shot a brilliant 66 to move into T6 as rain forced a suspension of the second round

251
Chikkarangappa is in fine form this season

18 January 2019: Asian Tour Release

Poom Saksansin showed he is the man for the big occasion again when he completed an exhausting day with a second-round one-under-par 70 to share the clubhouse lead with England’s Paul Casey at the weather-hit SMBC Singapore Open on Friday. Chikkarangappa moved inside the top 10 with a brilliant 66 while Arjun Atwal ended the second day in T36 after scoring 73.

Regarded by Casey as his ‘nemesis’, Poom got the better of the world number 24 again in their opening round and matched the Englishman’s two-day total of seven-under-par 135 at the US$1 million event which has been disrupted by several weather suspensions over the last two days.

Close to two hours of play was lost in the morning due to inclement weather. It was abandoned at 7.05pm local time due to fading light and will now resume at 7.30am where 76 players will return to their positions on Saturday. The third round is not scheduled to start before 12pm.

The Thai had to return early to the Sentosa Golf Club to complete his remaining seven holes from his first round, before heading back to the starting tee after a short 45-minute break.

He birdied four of his last five holes when first round resumed to sign for a 65. After trading two birdies against one bogey for a 70, he is now looking forward to indulge in the local delicacies before taking a much-deserved rest and coming out to fire at all cylinders again.

At 54, American legend Davis Love III showed his level of fitness is still high after completing 25 holes to trail Poom and Casey by two shots with his 137 total at the season-opening event of the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

The World Golf Hall of Famer’s efforts were also met by India’s Chikkarangappa S., Korea’s Yikeun Chang and South Africa’s Shaun Norris.

Did you know?

  • Poom Saksansin is making his second appearance at the SMBC Singapore Open this week. He finished tied-12th in his debut appearance last year.
  • Poom ended his 2018 in style by winning the season finale in Indonesia last month for his third Asian Tour title.
  • Poom claimed his breakthrough at the Indonesian Masters in 2016. He went on to claim a wire-to-wire victory for his second Asian Tour title in India the following year.
  • The 25-year-old Thai is dubbed ‘The Baby-faced Assassin’ for his high-profile defeats of Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey on the Asian Tour last year. He beat Paul Casey in the final day singles at the EurAsia Cup and he is looking to claim another scalp over the Englishman this week.
  • Poom missed only one fairway and three greens in regulation en route to his second round 71.
  • Paul Casey is the highest-ranked player in the 156-men field. He sits in 24th place on the current Official World Golf Ranking.
  • Casey was one of the world’s most consistent players in 2018, achieving 12 top-20 finishes, including five top-10s in addition to his victory at the Valspar Championship. He has also remained a regular fixture inside the world’s top-25 since 2016.
  • Casey is no stranger to winning in Asia having claimed the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea in 2011 and the Volvo China Open and TCL Classic, also in China, both in 2005.
  • He holds 13 titles on the European Tour and returned to the winner’s circle last year after triumphing at the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour.
  • Poom and playing partner Casey each played a total of 25 holes today. They returned to complete their opening rounds at 7.30am local time before play was suspended due to lightning threats at 8.54am when they were on the 18th fairway.
  • Davis Love III arrived at this week’s SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club on the back of a seventh-place finish in Hawaii.
  • Love was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017 following a stellar career.
  • He has claimed 21 titles on the PGA Tour: the first in 1987 and most recent in 2015 (the Wyndham Championship).
  • Most notable of those victories are the 1997 PGA Championship and The Players Championship, in 1992 and 2003.
  • He captained the United States to victory in the 2016 Ryder Cup and was also captain in 2012, when Europe triumphed.