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Phuket Sports: Stacy Lewis sizzles in record-tying opening round

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Phuket Sports: Stacy Lewis sizzles in record-tying opening round | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: America’s Stacy Lewis struck a stunning nine-under par 63 to leave the rest of the field in her wake in the opening round of the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament at Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course yesterday. The score tied her career-low round and also the tournament record.

Lewis, who was the LPGA’s Player of the Year in 2012, raced three shots clear of second-placed Karine Icher of France who fired an excellent six-under 66.

In joint third place were veteran Scottish player Catriona Matthew, America’s Gerina Piller and the Korean duo, Inbee Park and Amy Yang, who all shot 67.

Defending champion and world No 1 , Yani Tseng of Taiwan, saw her hopes of a third successive win in Pattaya fade when she struggled with a three-over 75, 12 shots behind the leader.

Last year’s runner-up, Ai Miyazato of Japan, was in joint 10th place after shooting a three-under 69.

Lewis, ranked third in the world, was simply in sizzling form, firing an eagle and eight birdies, with just one bogey on the par-three 16th. ”It was just a great day,” she said.

”I hit the ball really well from the start and holing out for an eagle at the third really gave me the confidence I needed for the rest of the round,” she said. ”I really started swinging at it and only missed two greens all day.”

Lewis said she had a ”ton” of birdie opportunities. ”Everything went well and I even left a few birdies out there, although I’m not complaining,” she said.

She was unlucky at the 15th when her shot hit the flagstick on the fly and bounced a long way from the hole. Coincidentally, playing partner Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand had hit the actual flag with the previous shot. ”I’ve never seen that happen before back to back,” said Lewis.

The American said a new driver had also improved her play. ”I’m hitting it a little further. All in all it’s a good thing.” Lewis admitted that after being named Player of the Year there was considerable pressure on her to perform even better this year.

”That’s the hardest part. You have to keep down the expectations,” she said. ” Realistically you can’t win every week.”

Icher, ranked 33rd in the world, credited her excellent round to a brand new putter that she has only had for two days.

”Last week I played really well but I missed my putts. So I changed the putter,” she said. ”I had a much better feeling with the new putter.”

She said that a more physical training routine had also helped her, particularly with stamina and her driving.

”I have been doing a lot of cardio and strength training and that has helped,” Icher said. ” I need to be longer with my driving to be at the top.”

Piller, ranked 91, also said good putting was the key to her round.

”My irons were good,” said Piller. ”I also drove the ball well, but my putting was the difference.”

She said she had discarded a new putter she used last week and went back to her old putter from last year and it worked. ”It felt so good.” Piller said it was important to hit the fairways because the rough was really difficult.

Korea’s So Yeon Ryu , who was among three players in joint seventh place after hitting a four-under 68, said she was happy with her score considering she was suffering from an eye infection which hampered her vision.

Ryu admitted she struggled early on but ”the back nine was much better than the front.”

She thanked her playing partners, Natalie Gulbis and Candie Kung for keeping her spirits up. ” I really enjoyed playing with them. They supported me,” she said.

Ryu, who was named LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2012, admitted that like Lewis she felt some pressure following her success. ”It’s not my expectations, it’s other people’s expectations,” she said.

Miyazato, who won this tournament in 2010, said she was reasonably happy with her opening 69, but felt a bit tired. ”It was pretty tough out there,” she said. ”The rough is quite tricky, but the greens are fine and fast.”

Thailand’s big hopes, sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanagarn both performed solidly, Ariya shooting 69 and her older sister 71.

Channel 7 TV, the main organizer of the event, will broadcast live all four days of the tournament. Tickets are available at Thai Ticket Major. There is free admission for those under 18 or over 60.

you can follow the updated news on:

Website www.lpgathailand.com or www.hondalpgathailand2013.com.

By media release.

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Crime

2 shot dead at Phuket Bus Terminal Saturday night

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2 shot dead at Phuket Bus Terminal Saturday night | The Thaiger
PHoTO: Nashaplaneta.net

Police say 2 men were gunned down at the Phuket Bus Terminal by a colleague at the terminal along the stretch of Thepkasattri road heading into Phuket Town last night. The incident happened at about 10:15pm with the local police chief arriving along with medical staff from Vachira Hospital shortly after the incident.

60 year old Wian Iadchuthong, the alleged gunman, was waiting to surrender at the scene when police arrived. Police say Wian appeared to be drunk and told them he had a serious argument with the 2 men and decided to take their lives with the gun. Police say they found 50 year old Yod Sae Lee lying on the ground in front of a taxi service stand, badly wounded. He was given CPR before being rushed to Vachira Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

54 year old Prakob Chuthong was also found lying dead by the counter of a 24 hour car park service kiosk. Police say he had been shot 2 times, once in the left side of his head and once in his left rib cage, according to Bangkok Post.

Witnesses say before the shooting, Wian was quietly drinking alone. But after getting drunk, he walked to the counter of the car park service kiosk and allegedly fired 2 shots from a 9mm gun at point-blank range, killing Prakob instantly. Wian then ran towards Yod, who was sitting in front of the taxi service stand. Yod saw Wian coming at him with the gun and he ran away to 1 side of the terminal building, only to be intercepted by Wian who allegedly fired 5 shots. Yod was hit 1 time in the head, 2 times in the torso and 2 times in the legs. Yod was also rushed to Vachira Hospital where he later died.

An initial police investigation found that the 3 were close colleagues at the workplace, but often engaged in heated fights over motorcycle taxi and taxi services at the bus terminal.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Phuket lifts mandatory quarantine restrictions for ‘high risk’ arrivals. But were they ever applied?

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Phuket lifts mandatory quarantine restrictions for ‘high risk’ arrivals. But were they ever applied? | The Thaiger

Culminating 2 weeks of mass confusion over the apparent mandatory self-quarantine for arrivals to Phuket from Bangkok and other high risk provinces, Phuket’s provincial communicable disease committee has agreed to lift the mandatory 14 day quarantine “to help boost the local economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

But for the vast majority of arrivals from Bangkok (DMK and BKK) to Phuket there wasn’t even any mention of quarantine. Over the past 2 weeks, since Phuket’s Governor released a 3 page announcement about new restrictions for the island, people have mostly been coming and going as usual. The only additional impediments were all arrivees having to download and fill in the Mor Chana app and registering with gophuget.com.

In 2 weeks not a single person has reported to The Thaiger that they had been forced to self-quarantine. Last night, when checking in at Suvarnabhumi airport for a Thai VietJet flight to Phuket, the person at the Check-In counter told the passenger (we’ll call them Mic to protect their identity) they would have to serve 14 days in state quarantine upon arrival in Phuket. Mic, surprised, asked for some sort of confirmation of this from airline management or information from the Phuket Provisional officials. None was forthcoming. Nothing more was said or communicated to the passengers.

When the plane landed in Phuket officials checked that passengers had completed the Mor Chana app and scanned their phones after they’d completed the gophuget.com registration. And that was it. No mention of quarantine.

The situation has been repeated by other Thaiger staff over the past 2 weeks as well, but without any mention of quarantine during the check-in or boarding procedures with various airlines. In all cases they flew from Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airports.

Phuket’s Governor Narong Woonciew says the decision to ease the Covid-19 restrictions for visitors followed calls from the business community seeking to lure visitors to Phuket. (The Thaiger wonders if any of these officials had actually travelled over the past 2 weeks)

Local businesses met with provincial authorities on Friday proposing an end to the mandatory quarantine period “for people travelling from certain high-risk areas” in the hope of “stimulating the tourism industry”. The proposal was less about stimulating and more about raising the industry from its current flatline.

But whatever mandatory quarantine they were asking to be lifted appears to be have been, at best, loosely applied anyway.

Phuket has has a triple hit. The first when the borders were closed in April and the international airport closed. The second was when December arrived, the start of the busy tourist high-season. The third was the new restrictions added 2 weeks ago in response to the 2nd wave of clusters that started on December 20, tripling the total number of Covid infections in the country in just over a month.

According to Bangkok Post, Sarayuth Mallum, president of the Phuket travel industry council, says… “strict disease control measures remain necessary to protect local people and tourists from contracting the virus”.

Somehow, the mandatory quarantine requirement instructions never reached the airport officials. But, for now anyway, the “restrictions” have been lifted anyway. What was you experience arriving in Phuket over the past week? Were you asked to conduct a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine?

In the meantime the struggling domestic airlines have been forced to massively cancel or reschedule flights. Over the past 2 days most airlines only had 1 or 2 flights to and from Phuket and Bangkok, down from the 4 – 10 daily flights some airlines were offering.

More about the Mor Chana App here…

More about the direct effects on the island of Phuket…

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Phuket national park officer fired over peeping Tom incident

The Thaiger

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Phuket national park officer fired over peeping Tom incident | The Thaiger

A national park officer has been fired after being accused of spying on a woman in the public toilet on January 17 at Phuket’s Sirinath National Park. 28 year old Abdulrama Mahaderi, was accused by a woman named Sopita and her boyfriend Panupong Rungrueng of climbing a wall that separates the men’s and women’s sections of the toilet at Nai Yang beach in order to look at Sopita. Abdulrama allegedly also had his mobile phone in his hand.

Sirinath National Park Chief Pramote Kaewnam confirmed that an investigative committee had spoken to witnesses and determined that Abdulrama was guilty of “misbehaviour and improper actions.”

Pramote confirmed that Abdulrama’s employment contract was then terminated, effective last Wednesday, 3 days after the incident allegedly took place. On its Facebook page, the Sirinath National Park made a post about the incident.

“It has caused disgrace to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and affected the image of the overall department.”

Sura Lertthaisong of Sakhu Police confirmed that Abdulrama would be facing charges and that he was currently investigating whether a charge of “bullying in public” under Section 397 of the Criminal Code would be appropriate.

Abdulrama had previously posted on the official Sirinath National Park Facebook page that his understanding was that no charges would be pursued by Sopita and Panupong.

“The tourists told me that they did not want to press charges. They just told me that they did not want me to do anything like this again.”

But after Panupong posted a photo of Abdulrama, detailing his alleged indiscretion on social media, others came forward with similar accusations.

“One group of women said that they were also spied on by this man on the toilet wall 2 months ago, but they did not report it and did not press charges – and the truth faded away as if nothing ever happened.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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