Schwartzel leads in Thailand after 65 in 1st round
Seeking his first victory since winning the 2011 Masters, Charl
Schwartzel shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead
after the first round of the Thailand Golf Championship.
The South African made seven birdies in a bogey-free round at
the Amata Spring Country Club, four coming in the opening seven
holes, to hold a one-shot advantage over Thitiphun
”I’m very happy with the way my game has started getting
back,” Schwartzel said. ”Last month and a half, I’ve been able to
start working on my swing again and getting my swing back to what
it was a year or so ago.
”My consistency is coming back, and that to me is key.”
Third-ranked Bubba Watson (68) had an eagle and six birdies to
sit three shots off the lead, while defending champion Lee Westwood
(70) was in 21st place.
”It was a solid round but I made a few mistakes,” said Watson,
this year’s Masters winner. ”Hit a cart patch and bounced into the
woods and had to take an unplayable (lie), and had a three-putt on
Daniel Chopra shot a 67 to share third with Javi Colomo.
Schwartzel opened his round with two straight birdies, picked up
two more shots at Nos. 6 and 7 and then holed birdie putts on three
of the last six holes on the 7,453-yard course.
”I found many fairways and, to me, that’s the key on this golf
course because the rough is so high,” Schwartzel said. ”It’s nice
to put yourself in position.
”You’re not going to win the golf tournament after Round 1, but
you sure can lose it.”
The 20-year-old Thitiphun, who only last week secured his Asian
Tour card at a tournament in Khon Kaen, played without pressure to
move into second place.
”My drives were traveling well. The condition was perfect as
the green was soft and the fairways were great,” he said.
Sergio Garcia (69) shared 10th place with Thaworn Wiratchant,
the current No. 1 on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.