Connect with us

Phuket

Favorites struggle in Johnny Walker Classic opener

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

By Oliver Bates

THALANG: The first day of play at the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic produced some surprised leaders as the favorites coming into the event struggled with challenging fairways at the Blue Canyon Country Club.

The morning produced a string of early birdies as Australian Brad Kennedy carded eight on his way to the lead with 65, which was closely matched by Englishman Graeme Storm and former Masters champion Mike Weir, who both recorded 66.

Storm holed his second shot on the 10th for a rare eagle followed by another impressive eagle on the 11th by Weir.

The tri-sanctioned event also produced some interesting groups, as the top Asian players competed against the world’s best. The tournament is also remarkable for the strong showing of young players coming up in the ranks.

The big names, and expected leaders, had a mixed day. South African Ernie Els struggled to 39 (+3) before recovering with five birdies on the way to a mediocre 73.

Fellow South African Retief Goosen looked his usual cool self and shot a solid 68, while Australian Adam Scott had problems off the tee early on, before he found his groove on the 9th with a great eagle.

Jeev Milkha Singh, from India, continues to impress with his unorthodox swing and amazing powers of recovery. His wild hook off the 3rd tee resulted in a great par, which he then followed with an eagle at 9 and birdies at holes 11, 12 and 15 to card an overall 67.

Englishman Paul Casey left a few shots on the course and returned a modest 71. Casey was impressive with his power off the tee, causing some Blue Canyon members to turn pale when they realized how far down the fairway he was.

Richard Lee, the winner at the Thai Airways Open (Blue Canyon 2005) looks like a good outside bet after he opened with a 67. The New Zealander’s 5-under round included a 7 at the par-5 hole 6, which proved to be a difficult hole for most players. Throughout the day there were several bogeys and three putts – and some bad language – at the 6th.

The par 3s on this golf course always provide great drama, with the 14th, the feature hole, played at 196 yards to an island green. This hole is not for the faint-hearted and will provide a stern test for all players coming down the stretch. The Sunday pin position will also be cruel and will add to the excitement.

Other late scores included a steady 69 from Scotsman Colin Montgomery, and 67 (-5) from both Greame McDowell, from Northern Ireland, and Aussie Scott Gardiner.

There was also a great birdie on the 18th from Peter Hanson of Sweden to leave him with a solid round of 66, and only one off the lead after the first day.

This is the sixth time the Classic has been played in Thailand since 1990, and the conditions in Phuket will likely prove a major factor in the coming days. A combination of slick greens and thick rough will provide a good test for players, especially if the Phuket coastal wind starts blowing strong.

Also, to combat new technology, there are new tees on holes 1, 3, 5, 8 and 14, raising the tournament yardage from 7,099 to 7,203.

Play will continue tomorrow through Sunday.

Leaderboard – Day 1 (par 72):

65 Brad Kennedy

66 Peter Hanson

66 Stephen Gallacher

66 Mike Weir

66 Graeme Storm

67 Graeme McDowell

67 Jeev Milkha Singh

67 Richard Lee

67 Scott Gardiner

Oliver Bates is the Teaching Professional at Loch Palm Golf Course. He has lived on Phuket for more than six years.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Phuket resort land encroachment case; OnlyFans arrest calls for reform| Sep 27

Thailand16 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 10,288 new cases; provincial totals

Guides16 hours ago

Local resturants you can’t miss when travelling to Ayutthaya

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Thailand reduces quarantine to 7 days for fully vaccinated arrivals from October

World18 hours ago

Australian official suggests borders may re-open by Christmas

Thailand18 hours ago

Gilligan’s Island, Farangs, Grammar and Onlyfans | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 26

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Guides18 hours ago

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

Consumer complaints hotline targets rip-off shopkeepers

Thailand18 hours ago

Phuket Car rental business says gang rented cars and then sold them off

Guides18 hours ago

A guide to Doi Inthanon National Park

Bangkok18 hours ago

Curfew shortened, Bangkok spas, gyms, cinemas can re-open from October

Tourism19 hours ago

TAT pushes for Indonesia, Malaysia to be added to approved list for Phuket sandbox

World19 hours ago

Powerful earthquake strikes near the Phillippines main island

Guides20 hours ago

Top business and investment opportunities in Thailand

Thailand20 hours ago

OnlyFans arrest sparks calls for reform of prostitution and pornography laws

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending