Thais dominate Myanmar Open

YANGON - Kiradech Aphibarnrat bolstered his hopes of erasing last year's play-off defeat at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open when he tied for the opening-round lead with compatriot Chapchai Nirat.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat overcame first-round problems to move into first place entering Friday's second round of the Zaykabar Myanmar Open.

The pair, who finished on eight-under-par 64, were one shot ahead of fellow countryman Prom Meesawat, who is seeking a long-awaited second Asian Tour victory, and Joonas Granberg of Finland, as the second round teed off Friday morning.

Another Thai, Thanyakon Khrongpha, shared fifth place with Australia’s Darren Beck and South Koreans Hwang In-choon and Young Nam at the $300,000 event, the curtain-raiser for the 10th Asian Tour season.

Reigning Asian Tour No.1 Thaworn Wiratchant, who hit the ceremonial first drive of the season, was on 71 along with title-holder Kieran Pratt of Australia.

Kiradech was six-under through eight holes but his confidence took a jolt when he missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole. He gradually recovered and took advantage of the par fives, where he birdied 14 and 18.

“I missed a big putt on the 10th hole,” said Kiradech.

“I had a 10 feet uphill straight putt but I pulled it. After that I lost some confidence with the putter. I was lucky to get two birdies in the next par fives.” Chapchai was even-par after five holes but recovered with eight birdies in his last 13 holes to share the lead.

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Writer: Agencies