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Pittayarat leads by 1 in Singapore
Tampines, Singapore (SportsNetwork.com) - Panuphol Pittayarat fired a 9-under 63 on Thursday to grab the lead with the first round of The Championship at Laguna National suspended due to darkness.
Pittayarat, who is making his third European Tour start of the year, is winless on the European Tour and the Asian Tour, which is co-sanctioning this event.
The start of the first round at Laguna National Golf & Country Club was delayed one hour due to lightning in the area. The first round will resume Friday morning at 7:40 a.m. local time, which is 6:40 p.m. ET.
Scott Jamieson carded a 64 and was joined in second place by David Lipsky, Quincy Quek and Byung-jun Kim.
Felipe Aguilar, Kristoffer Broberg, Mithun Perera and Arnod Vongvanij share sixth place at minus-7.
Pittayarat started his climb up the leaderboard with a birdie on the first. After a pair of pars, he converted another birdie effort on No. 4.
Back-to-back birdies to close out his front nine helped Pittayarat turn in minus-4. He continued to roll on the back nine as he also birdied the 10th and 11th to make it four in a row.
The 21-year-old Thailand native made birdie on the par-5 15th and followed with another birdie on the 16th. Pittayarat closed his bogey-free round with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
"I am very happy with how I played today. I didn't see it coming, but it did come," Pittayarat stated. "I'm feeling good about my game right now. I was just trying to hit straight out there. I managed to hole a lot of putts and a lot of them were unexpected."
Jamieson played the back nine first and started with three birdies in a four- hole span from the 11th. He tripped to a bogey on the 16th, but got that shot back with a birdie on No. 17.
Around the turn, the Scot birdied four of the first five holes to jump to minus-7. Jamieson birdied the ninth, his last, to end one back.
"I've been hitting the ball well the last couple of weeks, so it was nice to get a round where it all came together. There was just the one mistake with the 3-putt on 16, but it was pretty far away and pace putting is always difficult in Asia with the grain," Jamieson stated. "It's not what someone from Scotland is used to. There's not much wind out there and apparently there has been a drought here so there is not much rough either. I've been hitting the ball really well since we came out to Asia, but today was the first time I really capitalized on that."
Lipsky had four birdies in his first eight holes. After back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13, Lipsky converted an eagle try on the par-5 15th to move to minus-8. He parred the last three to end there.
Quek parred four of his first five holes to go with a birdie on the 13th. He drained a birdie try on the 15th and birdied the next four holes as well to jump to 6-under. He cooled with six pars in a row before making birdie on his final two holes to post 64.
Kim had a bogey-free round with four birdies on the front and back nines.
NOTES: Pittayarat's 63 was his career-low round on both the European and Asian Tours ... Defending champion Brett Rumford posted a 2-under 70 and is tied for 63rd ... Bernd Wiesberger, the highest ranked player in the field at world No. 64, carded a 1-under 71 and is tied for 85th.
05/01 09:23:20 ET
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