Golf: Phachara Khongwatmai within reach of second win at International Series Thailand

Hua Hin-

Phachara Khongwatmai emerged from a packed leaderboard to take the third-round lead in the US$1.5 million International Series Thailand at Black Mountain Golf Club today.

The Thai star fired a nine-under-par 63 to lead on 20 under by three from countrymen Poosit Supupramai and Itthipat Buranayarat, American Sihwan Kim, India’s Karandeep Kochhar, and Doyeob Mun from Korea.

Poosit matched the course record with a 62 while Itthipat and Kim fired 65s. Kochhar returned a 66 with Mun signing for a 68.

Overnight leader Ryo Hisatsune from Japan carded a 71 and is 15 under.

Phachara Khongwatmai has only dropped one shot in three days and made nine birdies today, including six on the back nine, with three on the trot from the 16th.

“I have been playing well for a while, so I felt like a good round was coming,” said the 22-year-old, who also shot 63 on day one.

“The course is possible to shoot a low score, but you still have to play well.”

The rising star finally won his first Asian Tour event at the end of last year at the Laguna Phuket Championship, after years of coming close, including six runner-up finishes.

Phachara Khongwatmai also won twice on the Asian Development Tour in 2015, while it was back in 2013 he triumphed in the Singha Hua Hin Open as a 14-year-old amateur.

He added: “Yes, Hua Hin has special meaning for me, as I turned professional after winning in 2013.”

Poosit matched Sihwan Kim’s first-round course record thanks to an eagle, nine birdies, and just one bogey.

Said the Thai golfer: “I just made the cut yesterday, which was a good day for me. Today I said to my family that I would concentrate on an aggressive game, as usual, and I did it well. I had a great game today with a good combination of driving, iron shots, and putting and also slam-dunked an eagle. I got some luck, everything was perfect.”

Earlier in the day Thailand’s Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwat, who celebrated his 15th birthday yesterday by finishing on the six under halfway cut, stormed through the field with a 63 to finish on 15 under.

“Fifteen yesterday and 15 under today. I think I will need at least 63 tomorrow to win,” said Ratchanon.

“Tomorrow I am going to try and strike the ball like I did today and give myself a lot of opportunities again. Every single putt I have, I will have to run through every scenario and every possible calculation I need to make before hitting the putt. If I want to win, I have to do that for every single putt. I did not manage to do that on eight of the holes today. This is the first time I’ve played two balls in my life. Feels a bit lonely.”

The youngster said it was his lowest 18-hole score.

He added: “My previous lowest was an eight-under on the All Thailand Golf Tour.”

About The Asian Tour 

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of professional golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. The Tour is officially recognised by the Official World Golf Ranking and provides its events with valuable ranking points for participants to be recognised on the world stage. It is also an affiliate of The R&A. Tour Partners include Rolex (Timekeeper), Habitat for Humanity (Sustainable Development Partner), Titleist (Web Partner), and FootJoy (Tour Supplier). The corporate headquarters of the Asian Tour is based in Sentosa, which is the home of Asian Golf while Sentosa Golf Club is part of an exclusive network of properties under the Asian Tour Destinations. The Tour also has an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

About LIV Golf Investments 

LIV Golf Investments is a newly formed company, with group companies in the USA and UK, with Asian offices to follow. Its purpose is to holistically improve the health of professional golf on a truly global scale to help unlock the sports’ worldwide untapped potential. Greg Norman is the first and founding CEO of LIV Golf Investments. PIF, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with a diverse international investment portfolio, is the majority shareholder in LIV Golf Investments.

About The International Series

The International Series was established as a new series of 10 marquee international events on the Asian Tour following an unprecedented investment of $300MM by LIV Golf Investments. Integrated into the 2022-23 Asian Tour schedule, The International Series will kick off in Thailand in March followed by visits to England, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and will feature prize purses ranging from $1.5 to $2MM per event.

Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: