Golfing rivalry between Brit and Thai continues in Singapore


Rise to the top: Paul Casey of England hitting a shot during the second round of the Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore yesterday. Inset: Poom Saksaksin. — AFP

Rise to the top: Paul Casey of England hitting a shot during the second round of the Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore yesterday. Inset: Poom Saksaksin. — AFP

SINGAPORE: A rivalry between Englishman Paul Casey and Poom Saksansin of Thailand has been renewed in the SMBC Singapore Open at the Serapong Course in Sentosa Golf Club.

Casey has declared Poom as his nemesis after losing to the young Thai in the EuroAsia Cup last year.

Both are currently the joint-leaders in Singapore with a score of 135 and will try to out-do one another in today’s third round.

The 25-year-old Poom was the leader with six-under 65 in the first round while the 41-year-old Englishman was three-under 68.

But yesterday, Casey stepped on the gas by finishing the day strongly by carding a four-under 67 while the Thai, who won the Indonesian Masters in December last year, settled with one-under 70.

Casey was satisfied with his performance but also credited Poom for his exceptional performance.

“Poom, my nemesis – I lost to him in the EuroAsia Cup, and he has just played a marvellous round of golf again, I can’t seem to beat the guy, but I’m in good spirit,” said Casey.

“We’ve got a great looking leaderboard, with some favourite names right up there.”

Poom was pleased with his efforts too.

“I came back to resume my round early yesterday morning, and there wasn’t much wind. I hit my irons good. I’ve experienced many rain delays before, but it was never like this, taking one whole day to finish 18 holes,” said Poom.

“I waited three hours on Thursday, and it was suspended again when I was at the last hole. I don’t enjoy it, so hopefully, the weather gets better for everyone.

“It was nice playing alongside Paul. I played my own game, and he was focused on his too. We spoke a bit,” said Poom, dubbed the “baby-faced assassin” in the Asian Tour circuit.

Japanese Tahei Sato is third with 136 after scoring six-under 65 in the first round and par 71 in the second round. Tied at the same spot is his compatriot Shotaru Wada (65-70).

Tournament favourite Davis Love III ended the day with 137 as the 54-year-old American carded two-under 69 in the first round and improved by getting three-under 68 yesterday.

He is placed fifth with South African Shaun Norris, South Koreans Chang Yikeun and Jang Dongkyu, American Kim Sihwan, Thai Chapchai Nirat and Indian S. Chikkarangappa, who also scored 137.

Rankings may change today as several golfers have yet to complete their remaining holes in the second round. Heavy rain and lightning caused long delays on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning leaving the players kicking their heels.

Golf , Singapore Open