Suradit shows no fear in brutal wind at International Series Qatar

Doha- Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai impressively succeeded when the majority failed again today in wildly windy weather to take the clubhouse lead at the US$2.5 million International Series Qatar.

After yesterday’s four-under-par 68 which gave him the first-round lead he followed that up this morning with a brave 71 to lead on five under, by three shots from Australian Travis Smyth.

Smyth carded a 72 with half the field still on the course at Doha Golf Club, in the Asian Tour’s third event of the season, and second of 10 International Series tournaments.

“I was very happy with the 68 yesterday and today I feel even more happy with one under par in this wind. Today was more windy,” said Suradit, who has tasted victory once before on the Asian Tour at the 2019 Mercuries Taiwan Masters.

“Today into the wind I hit three clubs more, and maybe had to aim 30 yards right [on cross wind shots], it was very windy.”

The 24 year old made three birdies and two bogeys and is looking to bounce back from a poor 2022 season when finished 81st on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, when a 10th place finish in the Mercuries event was the highlight of his year.

“My caddie and I feel in these conditions the par is about 75. I have been driving the ball well, and when I miss they haven’t been bad misses. I have very good distance control with my irons considering the strong wind, and have also been putting well,” he added.

Smyth has also won once before on the Tour, in last year’s Yeangder TPC in Chinese Taipei following a string of good results, and was delighted to reach the clubhouse under par.

He said: “It’s like the best feeling ever, finishing Friday midday, just sitting back relaxing, watching the carnage unfold. Yeah, brutal conditions, I’m super stoked to be under par.”

He missed a four-foot putt on his last, the par-five ninth as he began on 10, for birdie, in stark contrast to his opening eagle on 10, also a par five, when he holed a pitch shot from 50 metres.

“I mean, it’s so strange, I’ve never seen anywhere like it where it’s windy all the way through the night, all the way through the morning. It’s like it’s the exact same basically the last two days,” he added.

“The forecast is meant to be the same over the next two days. But yeah, got off to an amazing start, the eagle was a great feeling.

“Mentally just thinking about the start, it’s really tough, just grind through the first six or seven holes and maybe one or two over par would be ok. And then with that start it was an amazing feeling.”

Korean Minkyu Kim, winner of last year’s Kolon Korea Open, fired a fine 68, the only sub 70 round of the day so far, to be the next best placed on one under.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee

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