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Varanyu holds commanding lead at Singha Laguna Phuket Open

Tanutam Thawan

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Varanyu holds commanding lead at Singha Laguna Phuket Open | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Varanyu Rattanaphaibulkij maintained his position at the top with his second round of nine-under-par 61 at the Singha Laguna Phuket Open on Friday.

The 21-year-old Thai carded a flawless round with seven birdies and one eagle to lead the field by seven strokes on a 17-under-par 123 total at the 2 million baht (approx. USD64,000) event co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and the All Thailand Golf Tour.

Compatriot Nitithorn Thippong proved relentless in his pursuit of a second ADT win when he returned with a solid round of 66 to take second-place on his own, while Sweden’s Oscar Zetterwall took third place following a 67 at Laguna Phuket.

Starting on the back nine, Varanyu eagled hole 14 after a good drive and solid approach with his five-iron left him with a three-footer tap-in. He made the turn at three-under after a birdie on 18 and would follow with six birdies for an inward 29.

“I was hitting everything solid and I played the three par-5s on this course very well and managed to hit the green in two shots on all of them. I enjoy playing this course and being on home ground. Especially since my mother is out here to watch me this week so I want to do well,” said Varanyu.

Varanyu holds commanding lead at Singha Laguna Phuket Open | News by The Thaiger

His low round which topped his opening 62, marked his lowest tournament round he achieved since he turned professional in 2015 and he credits his brother, nicknamed “Benz”, who is on his bag this week.

“I wasn’t nervous at all and I just stuck to my game plan of making fairways and greens. Benz and I were reading the lines well on the greens and I trusted him,” said Varanyu who is vying for a maiden win.

ADT winner Nitithorn mixed his card with six birdies and one double-bogey on the second hole when he pushed his eight-iron into the hazard.

“I was playing steady golf all day except for one missed shot. The pin was tucked in the right side and there was a hazard to the right of the green. I told myself to keep it short and hit it left but I pushed it right instead. But I made 16 greens today which was key for me and there were a lot of positives from the round,” said the 21-year-old.

Playing in the same group tomorrow, the Thai hotshot is ready to put up a good fight against his close friend Varanyu, who played junior golf with him before he joined the play-for-pay ranks.

“I am happy to be playing with him tomorrow since I haven’t seen him in a while. He is playing so well and I want to try and catch up with him tomorrow on moving day,” added Nitithorn.

The halfway cut was set at one-over-par 141 with a total of 57 players qualifying for the final two rounds.

The Singha Laguna Phuket Open is the eighth leg of the 2018 ADT schedule and the tour’s first stop in Thailand this year. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Varanyu holds commanding lead at Singha Laguna Phuket Open | News by The Thaiger
Leading round two scores
123 – Varanyu RATTANAPHIBOONKIJ (THA) 62 61
130 – Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 64 66
131 – Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) 64 67
133 – Samarth DWIVEDI (IND) 65 68, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 66 67
135 – Worrasorn SUWANPANANG (THA) 68 67, Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 68 67, Simon YATES (SCO) 67 68, Chaiphat KOONMARK (THA) 70 65, Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA) 66 69


Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket.

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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‘Big Joke’ is the ‘real deal’ according to Thai Rath

Tanutam Thawan

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‘Big Joke’ is the ‘real deal’ according to Thai Rath | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Thai Rath

Thai Rath have published a feature on the closest person Thailand has to Batman (aka Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn) or “Big Joke” as he’s affectionately know to the Thai media. He’s taken the role of Thailand’s poster-boy crime fighter.

He’s also recently been promoted to the top job at Thai Immigration.

The article says that Big Joke is the ‘real deal’ and his appointment will mean greater security for the country and better services to the wider public. They say that will include tourists and expatriates in Thailand.

Two weeks ago Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn replaced the former Immigration Chief, Suthipong Wongpin, who took a sidewards step to become the head of the metropolitan police in Bangkok, a year before his retirement.

Surachate attracted the attention of the Thai government while working as deputy commander of the Thai Tourist Police.

His “One World One Team” vision emphasises teamwork and cooperation, not just within Thailand but internationally, according to the Thai Rath article.

Many have criticised “Big Joke” for being nothing more than a poster boy and ‘lackey’ of the elite but the Thai media is say this is ‘shallow thinking’. Surachate’s supporters point to his ‘modern methods’ in crime solving and dedication to stop corruption (which we note also appear to involve a lot of photos and media conferences parading the baddies in public).

“He is seen as new style of policeman the like of which Thailand has rarely if ever seen before”, reports Thai Rath.

Many illegal foreigners posing as tourists have already been rounded up, sent home and black-listed creating a fear of further crackdowns. But Surachate says he’s determined to root out illegals and criminals and protect the multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

“Ultimately bona fide tourists and expats will reap the benefit through greater security and improved service from immigration”.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan its also calling for heightened security with an ‘international focus’.

Surachate believes in giving greater satisfaction to foreigners in Thailand as well as committing to coordination within Thai police departments and foreign agencies.

Critics say that many of those arrested are relatively small fry and that “No Tip” signs that have gone up at immigration entry points are merely paying lip service to the issue. But Thai Rath seem convinced that ‘Big Joke’ is the real deal and will make a true difference.

'Big Joke' is the 'real deal' according to Thai Rath | News by The Thaiger 'Big Joke' is the 'real deal' according to Thai Rath | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai Rath

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Bangkok

‘Monk’ tries some alternative enlightenment

Tanutam Thawan

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‘Monk’ tries some alternative enlightenment | The Thaiger

Thai Rath has shared a widely viewed CCTV clip featuring a man, apparently a monk, in saffron robes swinging a beer bottle at a man in a food market. The alleged monk appears to be holding a beer bottle.

According to Thai Rath, the layman, believed to be a store-holder, confronted the monk asking why he was drinking beer in the market at 9am and not praying in the temple.

The reporters even questioned whether the man was a real monk as his behavior was not befitting of a Buddhist monk.

They said that real monks should not be drinking beer, at any time, and should be in their temple after the morning alms round.

The incident is believed to have taken place in a Bangkok food court.

SOURCE: Thai Rath

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Phuket

Mai Khao’s ‘West Sands’ CEO being quizzed by police following last week’s death on Thepkasattri Road

Tanutam Thawan

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Mai Khao’s ‘West Sands’ CEO being quizzed by police following last week’s death on Thepkasattri Road | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook.com – Paul John Mercer

The British CEO of a luxury hotel along Mai Khao Beach in Phuket, is going to be quizzed by police in Phuket after running over and killing a roadside scavenger in his luxury Mercedes last week.

Original report about the Wednesday morning incident HERE.

The British expat is being investigated by Thai police after his Mercedes-Benz ploughed into the rubbish collector, killing the man instantly and scattering his body over the road.

Paul John Mercer, CEO of CCD Thailand, an international developer of luxury hotels, allegedly struck the unidentified man as he was pushing his rubbish cart along Thepkasattri Road in Phuket early Wednesday morning. His body was dragged 40 metres along the road, according to the police report. At this stage Police have not been able to identify the deceased man.

Police and rescue workers found the man’s body scattered over the road. The black Mercedes sustained significant damage from the crash on its right side front and windscreen.

Mail Online reports the the 33 year old driver, from Salford near Manchester, was immediately sent to a nearby hospital for injuries to his eyes caused by the impact to the windscreen.

Police had been barred from seeing or questioning Mr Mercer until his condition improved. Police requested tests for the man’s blood alcohol level.

If found guilty of driving over the alcohol limit, Mr Mercer could be charged with reckless driving causing death, and would be sent to a local court for trial. A guilty verdict could send him to a Thai prison along with a hefty fine. Plus, as normal in Thai culture, he would be required to pay compensation to the deceased man’s family.

But Police Captain Worawut Sensop, deputy investigation chief at Thalang police station, told MailOnline “We have not been contacted by a family member or a relative to claim the body.”

“If no relative comes forward to claim relationship with the victim, Mr Mercer could get away with not having to pay any compensation.”

Mr Mercer went into business with former Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy, to buy the 48 acre stretch of land along Mai Khao Beach, Phuket, with 426 rooms, now known as Grand West Sands.

Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Mail Online

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