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Golf: Thai teen Jazz in the mood to lead Resorts World Manila Masters

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, just 17, on his way to an opening 64 to lead the Resorts World Manila Masters at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in the Philippine capital. Photo: Asian Tour.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, just 17, on his way to an opening 64 to lead the Resorts World Manila Masters at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in the Philippine capital. Photo: Asian Tour.

November 14, 2013: Young gun Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand got off to a strong start when he fired a sizzling eight-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead at the inaugural US$750,000 Resorts World Manila Masters on Thursday.

 

The 17-year-old returned with a flawless round highlighted by eight birdies for a one-shot advantage over Canada’s Richard T. Lee at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

 

Charles Hong of the Philippines led the home charge after he signed for a 66 to take third place alongside Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong, Australia’s Matthew Stieger and Korean-American David Lipsky at the newest event to make its debut on the Asian Tour this season.

 

Following the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan last weekend, all players wore a Red Cross pin as a pledge of their commitment towards relief efforts and also observed a minute’s silence to show their respect for the victims.

 

Despite feeling unwell, Jazz was delighted with his promising start as he eyes his breakthrough on the Asian Tour this week.

 

“I played well today even though I wasn’t feeling well this morning. I have been nursing a flu since returning from India last week. My iron play was really good today and I played pretty consistent too. I like this course. It suits my game a lot,” he said.

 

“My season has been great and it’s a lot better than last year. I only missed one cut so far. I’m happy to see the improvement in my game.”

 

Lee, who came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, also had his maiden title ambitions boosted after returning with a flawless 65 in the morning after carding seven birdies.

 

“It was a pretty good round. Jazz and I were hitting it really well and making lots of putts out there. We got the good draw in the morning with no wind. The golf course is pretty fair and easy, so if you hit your ball straight and place it where you want it to be, you can make putts out there,” said the 23-year-old, who had a runner-up finish in the Philippines in April.

 

“The first half of the year was not bad. I’m working towards retaining my Tour card for next year and I’m trying to get a win this week.”

 

Lipsky is delighted to rediscover his form which led him to his maiden Asian Tour win in Cambodia last year. The 25-year-old has only made the cut in three of his eight starts this season, but a good opening round where he marked his card with seven birdies against a lone bogey on the par-four 14th has brought back that all-important confidence.

 

“I’m pretty happy with my score today as I played really well from tee to green,” said Lipsky. “Six-under is a good start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”

 

Resorts World Manila Masters (Round 1), Manila Southwoods G&CC, Philippines

64 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA).

65 – Richard T. LEE (CAN).

66 – Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA), Charles HONG (PHI), Matthew STIEGER (AUS), David LIPSKY (USA), Carlos SAINZ Jr. (USA).

67 – Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), LAM Chih Bing (SIN), Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN), Lionel WEBER (FRA), WANG Jeung-hun (KOR), LIANG Wen-chong (CHN), Angelo QUE (PHI), LEE Sung (KOR), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Anthony KANG (USA), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), CHAN Shih-chang (TPE).

68 – Kodai ICHIHARA (JPN), HUNG Chien-yao (TPE), Carlos PIGEM (ESP), Rahil GANGJEE (IND), HSU Mong-nan (TPE), ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN), TSAI Chi-huang (TPE), Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA), Chris RODGERS (ENG), Jonathan MOORE (USA), Elias BERTHEUSSEN (NOR), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA), Himmat RAI (IND), David LUTTERUS (AUS), Abhinav LOHAN (IND).

 

Selected scores

69 – Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA), LIN Wen-tang (TPE)

71 – Daniel CHOPRA (SWE)

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