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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. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

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Bangkok

Belarusian ‘Anastasia’ will be in Moscow detention another 3 days

Tanutam Thawan

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Belarusian ‘Anastasia’ will be in Moscow detention another 3 days | The Thaiger

Anastasia Vashukevich, aka. Nastya Rybka, the Belarusian model/sex-educator/Instagramer who spent a year in a Thai jail awaiting last week’s Court case, and was then deported, remains in a Moscow jail as of last night after the presiding judge decided to extend her detention by 72 hours.

She was arrested at Moscow airport on Thursday after being deported from Thailand on Tuesday night. She, and seven others, pleaded guilty last Tuesday for participating in a “sex training course” in Pattaya nearly 12 months ago.

During a hearing yesterday in Moscow, she said she did not want to “in any way compromise aluminum mining magnate, Oleg Deripaska”.

According to Interfax she said in the hearing, ”I have had enough.”

Her lawyer Dmitry Zatsarinsky, told reporters that his young client “has committed no crime” and had “nothing to do with” Deripaska and “still less with US President Donald Trump”.

On Friday her lawyer denounced Anastasia’s arrest, which was made while she was in transit in Moscow after a flight from Thailand on her way to Belarus.

The Belarusian gained notoriety last year when she claimed she had proof of Russian collusion with the Trump Presidential election campaign. She has now had her detention in Moscow extended by three days by a Russian court.

According to Interfax reports, she told the court she denied the accusation of prostitution, telling the court that “I am not guilty of what I am accused.”

She unexpectedly pleaded guilty in a Bangkok court to charges of prostitution relating to last February’s sex training course in Pattaya. The Thai judge suspended the group’s sentences but deported them, effective immediately.

Anastasia had been in custody in Thailand since a police raid in what AFP described as the “sleazy seaside resort of Pattaya” last February.

Belarusian 'Anastasia' will be in Moscow detention another 3 days | News by The Thaiger

Anastasia cruising around Phang Nga in 2017 – Instagram

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Thailand

New 500 baht fine for drunk cycling

Tanutam Thawan

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New 500 baht fine for drunk cycling | The Thaiger

Up to now drink-driving cyclists have not been included in the laws governing drunk drivers of other vehicles in Thailand. But with the rising popularity of cycling as a fitness trend, that’s about to change with a new 500 baht fine if bought drunk in control of a bike.

Drunk bicyclists who are currently immune to litigation because there is no law to make drunk cycling an offence. The new laws are covered in the upgraded traffic bill which passed the first reading of the National Legislative Assembly last week.

But, according to the Bill drafters, riding bicycles in public while being drunk is still regarded as a petty offence and the penalty would be just a 500 baht fine.

The same new traffic bill also seeks to empower traffic police to seize driving licenses of drivers found to be drunk behind the wheels and judged incapable of driving.

The bill will also merge the Land Transport Department and police databases to coordinate and share information on backgrounds and traffic violations records of drivers and motorcyclists.

A score system is being introduced under which law-breaking drivers will have their scores cut for every traffic violation.  Everyone will start a 12 month period with 12 points. If the scores are down to zero, the drivers will have their driving licenses suspended for up to 90 days.

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Bangkok

Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses | The Thaiger

by Kornkamon Aksorndech 

Traffic police and volunteers sprayed water at four locations in Bangkok this morning in a bid to curb the dust and smog pollution.

Pol Maj General Nithithorn Jintakanon, commander of the Traffic Police Division of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, presided at the dispatch of 150 police officers and volunteers from his headquarters on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

They chose four high-traffic locations and sprayed water in front of the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, the Din Daeng expressway toll gates and at the Ratchadapisek-Lat Phrao intersection on Lat Phrao Road and a Ramkhamhaeng Road intersection.

#pissinginthewind

Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses | News by The Thaiger Bangkok smog: Police get out their hoses | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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