Tired Thaworn doubles up for clubhouse lead

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 12:00am

Thaworn Wiratchant, who possesses one of the most unorthodox swings in the game, holed out from the fairway for an eagle at his last hole to soar into a one-stroke clubhouse lead on day two of the Enjoy Jakarta Standard Chartered Indonesia Open yesterday. The Thai endured a marathon day where he played 24 holes, first to complete his weather-delayed first round in seven-under-par 63 in the morning before matching that brilliant effort in his second round at Cengkareng Golf Club.

Thaworn's 14-under-par 126 total was one clear of Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, who was equally impressive with a 62 in the US$1 million ($7.8 million) event jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Play was again disrupted because of lightning with 64 players having to return this morning to complete their second rounds. Scotsman Colin Montgomerie, needing a win to earn a Masters invitation next month, is right on the projected cut mark of three-under through 13 holes of his second round.

Australian Terry Pilkadaris, who was in contention in the TCL Classic in China last week before fading to equal 12th place, moved into the title frame again, firing a 64 for a nine-under-par 131 aggregate. Tied with Pilkadaris are Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, who shot a 67 and Australian Adam Fraser, who had 65.

Overnight co-leaders Arjun Atwal of India and Northern Irishman Michael Hoey were 10-under for the tournament through 13 and nine holes respectively.

The day belonged to Thaworn. The reigning Taiwan Open champion holed several birdie putts but had the pleasure of not taking his putter out of his bag when his wedge shot from 70 yards into his last hole of the day, the par-five ninth, found the bottom of the cup for an eagle three.

'It was a nice finish. I hit a good lob-wedge that skipped into the hole. It was a long day. I had to come back to finish my first round this morning and had six holes to play.

'I got up at 5am and I'm feeling a bit tired now. But it is good to be at the top of the leaderboard and I'll do my best at the weekend,' he said. Currently 10th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Thaworn has not missed a cut this year and has four top-20 outings.

Colsaerts, who does not have a full card on the European Tour, moved into contention with a nine-birdie round. Hailing from a country which is more famous for producing quality chocolates, the 22-year-old is hoping make a name for himself in Jakarta. 'I got off to a good start, birdied the first and then the fourth and I didn't look back. Made bogey on 13 which is for me the toughest tee shot on the course. I'm just really pleased with the way I played today,' said Colsaerts, who finished 120th on the Order of Merit last year to miss his full card by five rungs.

The Asian Tour has been ratified as a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. In a meeting attended by heads of the PGA Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, Southern Africa Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the board members of the International Federation unanimously rubber-stamped the Asian Tour as the official regional sanctioning body. Asian Tour chief executive Louis Martin, who attended the meeting in Florida, said: 'The ratification is important for the Asian Tour to progress more efficiently and actively in our vision to develop professional golf in Asia.'