Thammanoon runs into trouble at ninth hole for second day

KUALA LUMPUR: Lightning, they say, never strikes twice in the same place. But don’t tell that to Thai golfer Thammanoon Srirot. 

When Thammanoon hit his ball into the jungle at the ninth hole in the third round of play again, it was deja vu for him. A day earlier, he had done exactly the same thing.  

OUT YOU GO: Thailand's Thammanoon Srirot blasts the ball out of the rough on the fifth hole during the third round of the Malaysian Open at The Mines Resort and Golf Club.

On Friday, he was enjoying a bogey-free round until he approached the par-four ninth. With the ball in the jungle, he returned a double-bogey score. 

Yesterday, Thammanoon was hitting the ball well and had collected birdies at the third, fifth and sixth holes. 

Then, he came to the ninth hole. And he hooked the ball into the jungle again. He eventually hit the green just as the siren sounded announcing suspension of play for the day. 

Thammanoon is facing another double bogey on the ninth unless he is able to hole a 14-foot putt for bogey. 

The 34-year-old Thai was trailing leader Arjun Atwal of India in second place by four strokes at 13-under after the eighth hole when play was stopped. Also sharing second place is South African Retief Goosen.  

“I never thought it would happen again. But it did. I hooked it into the jungle yesterday. I set myself up for a bit of a draw today but the ball hooked and went into the jungle again. 

“It is a difficult tee shot and you cannot see the fairway. I suppose I was thinking too much about what happened yesterday,” said Thammanoon, who could have matched Goosen’s 12-under if he had not double bogeyed his last hole of the day on Friday. 

Despite his troubles, the Thai feels he is still in the running for the winner’s cheque of US$183,330. 

“It’s disappointing to finish poorly. But I am still well placed for the tournament,” said Thammanoon, who had changed his last name from Sritoj to Srirot for better luck this year.  

He has failed to win any meet in his professional career since 1999. His losing streak could come to an end today. 

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