South Korea’s Bi-o Kim has retained the clubhouse lead on day two of the Laguna Phuket Championship despite topsy turvy form on the fairways.
The 31-year-old is two strokes ahead of Thailand’s Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol after carding 66, four-under-par.
The assault from home turf hopefuls continued with Phachara Khongwatmai a stroke further back after firing 65, one better than Panuphol Pittayarat and Natipong Srithong, who both shot 64.
Kim fired seven birdies but came unstuck with a bogey on the 10th hole and a double bogey on the 17th where his tee shot strayed into pine trees and hit woodwork twice.
“It was one of those days when I could have done much better but luckily today is over and I will regroup tomorrow,” Kim said.
This week’s $1 million tournament on the popular Thai holiday island marks the second Asian Tour tee-off since the Malaysian Open in March 2020.
Chanachok, in second place overall, hit a 67 three-under-par and notched up a birdie and eagle.
“This week my up and down game is really good, and my iron game is also good, but the best thing for me is putting, I have not three-putted yet,” Chanachok said.
The 27-year-old, who won the Singha Phuket Open in 2017 at the course, added that he was considering taking a break from the game as he is expecting a child next year.
Meanwhile, two-time Asian Tour winner Panuphol – who goes by the nickname “Coconut” – found momentum with four birdies in a row from 10th followed by an eagle on the 14th.
Last week Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang sealed a gripping last-hole victory in the Blue Canyon event.
© Agence France-Presse