Hot-shot Patcharajutar Kongkraphan produced a round low 65 to share the lead with hometown hope Kusuma Meechai at 11 under after the second round of the 7th Bt2.5 million SAT-TWT Open Road to World Ranking at Kabin Buri Sport Club in Prachinburi on Thursday.
The 30-year-old former LPGA player who won four straight local tournaments (two on the Thai WPGA Tour) between July and August blast six birdies on the front nine, two on the back with a bogey on the 10th. Her two-round total of 11 under-par-133 was matched by last circuit’s runner-up Kusuma who hit a second round 70.
“I got off to a great start by shooting three straight birdies. It really got me into the groove and I was very confident to play my shots,” said Patcharajutar or P.K. who, again, surged into contention after winning back-to-back titles on the 4th and 5th SAT-TWT Opens in Hua Hin and Petchaburi.
“I’m happy to be in this position again. However, there’s one more round to go. I really need to stay focused and go on the course with a good game plan. I will try to relax in the final round and read the lies better than today. Even I’m hitting the iron pretty well this week, I need to be more accurate with my wedge,” added 15-time winner on the professional tours.
Overnight leader Kusuma, after a stunning round of 63 on Wednesday, had five birdies against two bogeys. She and Patcharajutar were one ahead of JLPGA Step Up Tour player Budsabakorn Sukapan.
“I’m a quite disappointed with my game today. I didn’t hit my iron the way I would have wanted to. I wished that I could have fixed my shots out of the bunkers better. Luckily, I still putted well which really helped,” said the Prachinburi-born.
Kusuma came close to winning her first title in three years after she settled at tied second in the 6th SAT-TWT Open two weeks ago at Panorama Golf and Country Club in Nakhon Ratchasima a fortnight ago, losing to Supamas Sangchan in the final round.
“I really have to stick to my game plan and go onto the course with a pressure free attitude. Deep in my heart, I hope that I can win tomorrow. But I will try not to be so hard on myself,” said the 27-year-old Kusuma, hoping to stem her three-year drought of title since winning at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin in July 2019.
Budsabakorn, 24, shot three birdies for a 69. She has remained immaculate after 36 holes to follow a shot behind on 10-under-par 134
“I’m quite happy with my form even I didn’t putt that well. As the greens became drier and firm, it was a bit tough to control the ball. But, being in this position is really beyond my expectations. I just came here to shape up my game and regain my confidence,” she said.
A total of 62 players made the cut at 8-over-par 152. The winner on Friday will receive the top prize money of Bt367,500.
The SAT-TWT Open Road to World Ranking is sponsored by the Sports Authority of Thailand, National Sports Development Fund, Siam Commercial Bank, P Overseas Steal (Public Company Limited) and Kabin Buri Sport Club in Prachinburi. Fans can catch up with news updates on ThaiWPGA Facebook Fanpage or at www.thaiwpga.com.
The Thai Women’s Professional Golf Association has been established with the objective to support and promote Thai women’s golf activities. The association aims at organizing local tour with world ranking points in the near future which will pave the way for Thai golfers to the international arena. In addition, Thai women’s golfers can use the tour to develop their skills to meet the universal standard. Moreover, medium-proficiency level players can gain experience from Challenger tours which can help produce new generation players and at the same time develop golf human resources and systematic golf organization locally.