Japan's Oda in one-shot lead at Thai Open
BANGKOK (AFP) –
Japan’s Koumei Oda hit 11 birdies for an eight-under-par 64 Thursday, gaining a one-shot lead in the opening round of the $1 million Thailand Open.
Oda, a five-time winner on the Japan Tour, parred the first and then went on a six-hole birdie blitz at the Thana City Golf & Sports Club before bogeying the eighth and making the turn at 31.
He then struck five birdies, offset by a double bogey on the 15th, for one of the best rounds of his career.
Six players shared second place at the OneAsia tournament, co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
“I have had 10 birdies before, but not 11,” said Oda, 34, according to a release from the event organisers.
“The secret is I putted very well — just 26 putts for the round.”
South Koreans Hwang Jung-gon and Cho Min-gyu, friends who train together on the Japan Tour, set the pace for the day in strong style.
Hwang, just 19 and already a two-time winner in Japan, birdied the first four holes and got three more on the back for a bogey-free round.
“It was very hot, but I was patient and made no big mistakes. Bogey free is always good,” he said.
Cho, 24, had eight birdies and a bogey.
“I managed to hit my tee shots very well and it is important to be on the fairway here if you want to make birdies,” he said.
SCORES after Round 1
64 – Koumei Oda (JPN)
65 – Hwang Jung-gon (KOR), Cho Min-gyu (KOR), Lucas Lee (BRA), David McKenzie (AUS), John Young Kim (USA), Matthew Griffin (AUS)
66 – Scott Strange (AUS), Wisut Artjanawat (THA), Simon Yates (SCO)