Saksansin takes joint lead; Arjun Atwal at T6 in rd 1 of SMBC Singapore Open

Poom Saksansin fired superb six-under-par 65 to grab a share of the opening round lead at the weather-hit SMBC Singapore Open. Arjun Atwal at T6.

183
Arjun Atwal was in good form at the Hong Kong Open

Jan 18, 2019: Thailand’s Poom Saksansin picked up from where he left off last season by carding a superb six-under-par 65 to grab a share of the opening round lead at the weather-hit SMBC Singapore Open on Friday. Arjun Atwal of India was lying just two shots behind the leaders with four under-par 67 at the end of opening round.

Arjun scored six birdies and two bogeys to card 4-under-par 67 and lying within top ten of the leader board at T6.

Poom, who won the 2018 Asian Tour season finale in Indonesia last month, took advantage of the calm conditions and his solid iron-play when he returned to complete his opening round on Friday morning at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course.

The 25-year-old Thai fired five birdies in his closing seven holes to grab a one-shot advantage alongside reigning Abema TV Tour Order of Merit winner Taihei Sato of Japan at the event, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

The first round of the SMBC Singapore Open resumed at 7.30am local time on Friday but was suspended for the third time this week at 8.45am due to lightning threats. Play was resumed later at 10.45am. Round 2 has commenced at 11.30am.

Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang returned to sign for a 66 to share third place with compatriot Hung Chien-yao and Shotaro Wada of Japan while Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand and EurAsia Cup Team Asia captain Arjun Atwal of India were among those bunched in sixth place following matching 67s.

England’s Paul Casey, highest-ranked player in the field this week, posted a 68 while defending champion Sergio Garcia of Spain settled for a 69 to trail by four in the US$1 million event.

“I am very happy. I came back to resume my round early this morning and there wasn’t much wind. I hit my irons good. I have experienced a lot of rain delays before but it was never like this, taking one whole day to finish 18 holes,” said Poom, dubbed the “Baby-faced Assassin”.

“I waited three hours yesterday and it was suspended again when I was on the last hole (this morning). I don’t enjoy it so hopefully the weather gets better for everyone. It was nice playing alongside Paul Casey. I played my own game and he was focused on his too. We spoke a bit,” he added.

Source: Asian Tour