Namchok powers ahead in Karachi
Namchok Tantipokhakul is in a prime form to win his maiden Asian Tour title after carding a five-under-par 67 to go one shot clear of the field at the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship yesterday.
After a lukewarm start, the 31-year-old Namchok turned on the afterburners on his inward nine as he made an eagle at the 11th followed by three consecutive birdies before signing for a 12-under-par 204 total at the Karachi Golf Club.
Compatriot Jakraphan Premsirigorn is in lone second place after signing for a 68. He traded five birdies against a lone bogey on the challenging par-four ninth. The Qualifying School graduate feels that he has fully recovered from a wrist injury that has inhibited his progress this year and he’ll be aiming to win this US$300,000 event.
Like Namchok, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit of Thailand seized his chances on his back nine. He made four consecutive birdies from holes 11 to 14 which elevated his confidence immensely. He made another birdie on 18th and eventually carded a 67 to finish the day in third place.
Pawin Inghapradit and Suradit Yongcharoenchai carded 71 and 72 respectively to grab a share of fourth place, consolidating Thailand’s dominance at the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship. Settee Prakongvech (69) and Pakistan’s Mohamed Munir (72) are a shot further behind in tied-sixth.
“The highlights of my round happened on my back nine for sure. On 11th, I drove to the left of the fairway followed by a lucky hybrid shot that landed within a few feet of the hole. On the 12th and 13th, I sunk birdies from quite a distance on the green. Finally on 14th, I hit a nice approach and putted in from about three to four feetsaid,” said Namchok.
“For sure, getting those good holes in felt really good. I’m going to play using the same strategy tomorrow as it has worked for me so far, which is to focus on finding the greens. I have continued to miss the fairways in the third round, but if I can find the greens then it’ll be alright.”
SCORES AFTER ROUND THREE
204-Namchok Tantipokhakul (THA) 67-70-67.
205-Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 69-68-68.
207-Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 71-69-67.
209-Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 68-70-71, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 69-68-72.
210-Settee Prakongvech (THA) 72-69-69, Mohamed Munir (PAK) 69-69-72.
211-Mohamed Naeem (PAK) 7172-68, James Ryan Lam (PHI) 6873-70, Suttijet Kooratanapisan (THA) 71-70-70, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 71-70-70, Mitchell Slorach (SIN) 72-69-70.
Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul plays a shot in the Asian Tour’s UMA CNS Open Championship in Karachi yesterday.