Madappa relishes Stableford format, lies second at Asian Mixed golf; Tvesa top woman at 56th

Pics: Asian Tour and LET

Pattaya, Thailand, April 13: Viraj Madappa, who has made every cut in 2022 but finished in the middle or lower half of the leader board relished the challenge in the Stableford format as he moved into Tied- second place at the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Stableford Challenge at the Siam Country Club’s Waterside Course.

The tall Madappa, who started with a modest string of five pars followed with two birdies and a bogey and turned with three points. On the back nine he sizzled with six birdies on 11th, 13th to 15th and then further birdies on 17-18. That fetched him 12 points for a day’s total of 15 at Asian Tour’s first Modified Stableford scoring event.

The 24-year-old Madappa, who won his sole Asian Tour event in 2018, was seven points behind the leader, the current Asian Tour number, Sihwan Kim (22 points), who holed an incredible 40-foot eagle putt in near darkness on the par-five 18th just before the hooter was sounded on a weather-hit day.

Of the two Indian women in the fray, Tvesa Malik finished with five points and was T-56 while Diksha Dagar had four points in T73. Tvesa had three birdies and a bogey on front nine and finished with nine pars on back nine. Diksha had three birdies and two bogeys.

Among the Indian men players, Veer Ahlawat had six points from 15 holes at T-46, Aman Raj had five and Rashid had five points through 16 holes for T-56, SSP Chawrasia had four in T-73, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shiv Kapur had three each and were T-82. Ajeetesh Sandhu with one birdie and two bogeys and S Chikkarangappa with two birdies and four bogeys had zero points.

The US$750,000 tournament jointly-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, is being played on the Modified Stableford format with an albatross fetching 8 points, an eagle 5 points, birdie 2 points, par 0 points. A bogey means one point kid deducted and a double bogey or more costs 3 points. If at the end of four days there is a tie for 1st place, the winner will be decided by a normal stroke play hole-by-hole playoff.

As many as 39 players from a field of 144 players made up of 60 from the Asian Tour, 60 from Ladies European Tour and 24 invites, will come to finish the first round on Thursday.

Kim’s 22 points translated into conventional scoring would have been 10-under 62. He had seven points on the front nine, gathered five birdies and an eagle for 15 points on the back nine. He finished just as the hooter was sounded during a long day disrupted by a two-hour weather delay in the morning.

Alongside Madappa, the others in the shared second place are reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Joohyung Kim from Korea, Hung Chien-yao from Chinese-Taipei and Rory Hie from Indonesia.

Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwat from Thailand who claimed last week’s Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup at the same venue was paired with Sihwan Kim today and made seven points.


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