Up-and-coming Chonjarern Baramithanaseth stormed to a clubhouse lead at 18 points during the first round actions of the rain-delayed Thailand Mixed Stableford Challenge at the par-73 St. Andrews 2000 in Rayong on Tuesday.
In an extraordinary display of skill, the 22-year-old golfer from Chaiyanath delivered a remarkable performance, securing eight birdies, one eagle, and a double bogey on the fourth hole. His outstanding performance propelled him to claim the clubhouse lead, while unfortunate darkness forced several players to halt their play. The competition, already delayed by a two-hour rain interruption, now faces a resumption of play on Wednesday morning.
Reflecting on his remarkable performance, Chonjarern said, “I had an excellent putting day, hitting the right spots and sinking several long putts.”
Despite being a strong contender in the recent Thailand Mixed Cup at the same venue, his chances slipped away with a triple bogey on the 17th hole.
“It was tough playing under pressure as one of the leaders two days ago. But today is a fresh tournament with new circumstances. Everything seemed to align in my favor,” said Chonjarern whose recent accomplishment includes a second-place finish, his best career result, in the Thai PGA Tour in Prachinburi a few weeks ago.
Following three points behind was Tawan Phongphun who was at 15 under with one hole to play.
Five-time professional tour winner Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, with 7 birdies and one bogey, scored 13 points along with big-hitting Jakraphan Premsisigorn, also with seven birdies and one bogey.
Reflecting on his performance, Tirawat shared, “Overall, I had a good round. I focused on hitting the fairways and executing precise approach shots. My putting was also on point today.” Notably, his most significant career triumph came from winning the 2018 UMA CNS Open Golf Championship, an Asian Tour event held in Pakistan.
With a confident stride in his current form, Tirawat emphasized his strategy for success, saying, “I have a strong belief in my current form. I’m striking my irons well, so I’ll be aiming for exceptional second shots and endeavor to sink numerous putts. In the stableford format, everyone strives for birdies. Even with a birdie, you earn two points, while losing just one point with a bogey. This setup allows us to feel more at ease and encourages us to attack the pins during the approach game.”
Among several players who had completed their rounds earlier in the day was Australian Liam Georgiadis who earned 10 points from six birdies against two bogeys.
“It was good to work on something at the practice round yesterday. That helped me to putt well today,” said the 24-year-old rookie on the PGA of Australasia.
“The course is in good condition. The greens are getting quicker every day,” added the player from Adelaide who grows his fondness of the stableford format,
“It’s a new thing for me. And I enjoy it for sure. About my game plan, I just have to play aggressive, hitting lots of birdies honestly. Make sure to get the putts and all. Not worry about the bogeys much,” added the South Dakota University graduate.
In contrast to last week’s stroke play event, the Stableford format assigns points to players based on the number of strokes taken on each hole. Under this system, players earn points for birdies (2 per a birdie) and eagles (5 per eagle), while bogeys (-1 per bogey) and double bogeys (-3 per double bogey or more) deduct points from their totals. The player with the highest points in the four-day tournament will walk away with the title.
Live coverage of the tournament can be viewed on TrustGolf Facebook Fanpage and TrustGolf Youtube Channel from 9am onwards.
TrustGolf, an indoor training center with cutting-edge technology, has been spearheading the organization of the Thailand Mixed for three consecutive years, providing a platform for male and female players to hone their skills. The tour is supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, National Sports Development Fun, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Authority of Rayong, Bangkok Bank, B. Grimm Company, Bond Holdings, AIS Airplay, Bridgestone Golf, Trust Pharmacy, Trust Live Streaming, Adidas Golf, Balance Golf Nutrition, Leborn, LMV, Udommpanich, St. Andrews 2000 and Barcelona Valley.