Sarit Suwannarut. Asian Tour
Sarit Suwannarut marked his opening round of 64 at the Indonesia Open with two stunning eagles to take a one stroke lead into Friday at Pondok Indah Golf Club in Jakarta.
It was the first time Sarit has hit two eagles in a tournament round, and he is now looking for the double after winning the Indonesian Masters at the end of last year.
“I’m feeling really good, feeling comfortable. It’s been a challenging year. Play has not been really good in the first half but I’m feeling better now so hopefully I can keep going,” he said after his round.
From way downtown 🔥🤯
— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) August 3, 2023
Five birdies and one bogey saw Sarit post an eight-under 64 at the $500,000 Asian Tour event.
“My driver and irons were all right today, but the main thing was the putting, it was really good,” he said. “I saw the line on every hole, and everything seemed to drop.
“On the last, the tee shot wasn’t good, in the left bunker, but I got a good lie and hit it to the front of the green. I made the putt somehow,” he laughed.
Korea’s Woohyun Kim (65), who took advantage of an unexpected eagle in the morning session to post the early clubhouse lead on seven-under, said he appreciated his good fortune but felt he was ready to compete after a disappointing showing at the event last year.
Starting on the back nine, he set the early pace by scoring four birdies, including a run of three on his way to the par five 18th hole, but the hole-out from around 30 yards caught him by surprise.
“It was a good start today, I made birdie on the first hole. On the 18th, I thought my third shot was a little bit long but the bounce was soft and it rolled in to the hole. It looked like it would end up a few feet away but it got to the hole and made eagle. I wasn’t expecting it, but I’ll take it.”
Kim said after his round that it been an improvement over his previous performance in the event. “I played here last year, I liked the course and made the cut but finished almost last. Today I’m playing better than before, my irons, all shots are better than last year.”
A birdie finish on his last hole saw Australia’s Scott Hend (65) edge into a share of second place with Kim and the Australian was bullish on his prospects for the week.
“Yeah, it’s alright. I mean we had lift, clean and place out there so it’s playing a bit easier obviously. Scoring is going to be quite low this week because the greens are all right and they are quite receptive so I’ve just got to keep plugging along. It’s nice to get a good first round instead of trying to chase all the time and let’s see if we can have another low one tomorrow.”
Despite being an Asian Tour veteran who is turning 50 in 12 days’ time, Hend feels he is still able to compete with the younger guys on tour.
“It’s really no difference, is it? I’m still fit, I think I’m fitter than a lot of the young guys out here. I intend to play golf for a long time and hopefully they keep seeing me in the rear view mirror catching them,” he aid after his round.
Korea’s Doyeob Mun (65) joined the group in second with eight birdies and a dropped shot on the ninth hole.
Ryo Hisatsune (66) shares fifth place on six-under-par with Richard T Lee of Canada, Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong and Chang Wei-lun of Chinese Taipei.