On June 21 at Pattaya, Chonburi, Thailand
Stirred up the opening round with a representatives from 2 sides, Ladies European Tour’s Anne Van Dam and ThaiLGPA’s Aunchisa Utama. The duo swings through with five under-pars 67.
“Great follow through form with a bit of luck. Many long putts I made in a hole. I didn’t aim to lead nor anything, just the cut is beyond expectation, better than last year. The course is dense and clean. I hope my putts are smooth till the end.”
“I wish there could be more Thai audiences. I hope you can join our force!”
Aunchisa “Jan” Utama leading the way in Pattaya
By Richard C Talbot
The end of the first day at the Ladies European Thailand Tournament at Pattaya Gold Golf and Country Club saw two players sharing first place with scores of five under par. Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands shot 67 in the morning and this was matched by Lupburi’s Aunchisa Utama in the afternoon.
For much of the day the strong European contingent of players threatened to dominate the leader board. Players such as Anne Van Dam, Whitney Hillier, arrived with fine reputations, and they justified this with some fine golf.
“I’m working on some different things in my swing, so I was just focusing on that and not so much the score,” said the longest hitter on tour. “I’ve been hitting my driver a lot better, as I’ve been changing a few things with my coach to hit them a bit higher and a straighter ball flight. I hit some really good ones today.”[…] “I like the seventh hole. I didn’t birdie it today, but it’s a good risk, reward hole. There are a lot of good holes on this course. I can reach all the par fives if I pitch it on the fairway. From the rough, it’s too tough to get out of and stop it on the green.
“I was really stupid on 15, because I hit the perfect tee shot but had completely the wrong yardage, so I hit it straight into a bush, way too far and had a really unlucky lie. I didn’t hit a bad shot today, just one really good shot where I didn’t think about it that well. It was a bit of a shame, but I’m happy with how I hit back from that double to get right into it.”
There was also some very good rounds from England’s Gabriella Cowley and Spain’s Maria Palacios who scored 4 under and 3 under respectively. All of the high ranked Thai players had good moments but they could not maintain their consistency long enough to challenge the leaders.
That being said Chonlada Chayanun, and Kanyalak Predasuttijit both shot fine scores of 70, and with seven other Thai golfer shooting under par, there will be great hopes for many of the Thai players over the rest of the tournament.
But today was “Jans” day. The 27 year old from Lupburi was simply magnificent on the back 9 as she recorded four birdies in the last five holes. There is still 54 more holes of golf to play and the young Thai will face many challenges. However, with such talent demonstrated today one can only hope that she can maintain this fine form. If she can it could be a very happy conclusion on Sunday for Thailand golf.