Kho flies high on home course
published : 25 Mar 2023 at 05:01
newspaper section: Sports
Hong Kong: Taichi Kho's dream debut as a professional in an Asian Tour event at the Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC), his home course, continued yesterday when he took the second-round lead in the US$1million World City Championship.
The 22-year-old brilliantly fired his second successive six-under-par 64 for 128 to lead by two over Filipino Miguel Tabuena (67), the first-round leader and winner of last week' DGC Open.
New Zealand's Michael Hendry was in third place, four behind Kho on 132, after returning a 64.
South Korean Seo Yo-Seop returned a 64 and was fourth, five off the pace on 133.
Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond (67) and Suradit Yongcharoenchai (68) were a further stroke back on 134 along with Zimbabwe's Kieran Vincent (67).
Kho, a member of the HKGC since January who was unveiled this week as their ambassador, has an opportunity to become the first player from Hong Kong to win on the Asian Tour.
Notre Dame graduate Kho played a flawless bogey-free round, making two birdies on the front nine before four more on the second half, including one on the famous par-four 18th.
"Yeah, just a really great round of golf and I putted really well today," said Kho, whose father is from Hong Kong and mother from Japan.
"And you know like I said yesterday [Thursday], I'm just gonna go out there and try my best on every shot and that's exactly what I did. I was able to roll a few putts in and it added up to a total of 64. So I'm very happy with the day."
He graduated in 24th place at the Asian Tour qualifying school in January, made it through to the weekend in the two tour events he played after that, and after another fine round yesterday showed he is clearly revelling playing at this level.
Although appearing outwardly very calm, he admitted he was very nervous on the first two days.
Tabuena, who led with a 63 in the first round, recovered impressively from a double bogey on his opening hole.
"It was great. I was proud of the way I fought," said the 28-year-old.
The Filipino admitted to not being far away from playing his best golf.
He said: "I believe I'm pretty close. I have a lot of confidence. But you also gotta learn how to control it, right? So, just gotta stick to my game plan, and I will have a shot on the back nine on Sunday."
- Taichi Kho