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Young Thai Kosuke steals the stars’ thunder

Young Thai Kosuke steals the stars’ thunder

GOLF: Thailand’s Kosuke Hamamoto showed he can be the man for the big occasion when he signed for an opening six-under-par 65 to take the first round clubhouse lead at the Singapore Open yesterday (Jan 16).

Golf
By Bangkok Post

Friday 17 January 2020, 08:42AM


Kosuke Hamamoto fist bumps his caddie during the first round of the Singapore Open yesterday (Jan 16). Photo: PR

Kosuke Hamamoto fist bumps his caddie during the first round of the Singapore Open yesterday (Jan 16). Photo: PR

Despite playing at the US$1 million Singapore showpiece for the first time, the 20-year-old displayed maturity beyond his years as he outplayed several of the tournament’s marquee names that include former world No.1 Justin Rose of England, Sweden's Henrik Stenson, American Matt Kuchar and 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand.

“To be honest, I’m just really happy to be playing in this prestigious event. I just came into the week with the mindset that I should be grateful and thankful for this opportunity to play at the Singapore Open,” said Kosuke.

“I just went out there to have fun and tried not to put too much pressure on myself. You need to believe in yourself that you can perform and luckily I managed to do it today.”

Play was suspended for slightly more than an hour in the afternoon due to thunderstorms at the Serapong Course, Sentosa Golf Club. The first round subsequently could not be completed due to fading light in the evening, leaving 45 players having to resume their round at 7:40am this morning.

SKYPARK

Thailand's Gunn Charoenkul showed his consistency yet again by signing for a 66 to trail Kosuke by one shot in a share of second place that included Canada's Richard T Lee, Japan's Rikuya Hoshino and American Matt Kuchar, who managed to complete his round in near darkness.

The 17-year-old Kim Joo-Hyung, who is the youngest player in the field and making his Singapore Open debut, continued to show his potential. The South Korean posted a 67 to end his day in tied-sixth place alongside compatriot Hur In-Hoi and Jazz.

Jazz started his title defence with a promising 67 while Rose and Stenson are a further shot back from the defending champion in tied-ninth place after returning with matching 68s.

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