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Thai young gun Varanyu leads by eight shots at Singha Laguna Phuket Open

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Thailand’s Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij extended his lead by eight shots after shooting a one-under-par 69 in the third round of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Thai, who has led since round one, put himself in prime position for his first professional win. He leads on 18-under-par 192 at the award-winning Laguna Phuket course.

New Asian Development Tour winner Nitithorn Thippong, who was victorious last week, posted a 70 to sit in second place while Mathiam Keyser of South Africa returned with a 68 for third place, nine shots back of the leader.

Pawin Ingkhapradit registered a 67 for fourth place in a leaderboard which was mostly dominated by Thai golfers in the event sanctioned by the ADT and the All Thailand Golf Tour.
Varanyu played superbly in the first two rounds but he struggled with his tee shots and a cold putter in a round of two birdies against one bogey.

“I was struggling with my drives today and hitting it left and right. I couldn’t make any birdies in the first nine too so when I made the 15-footer for birdie on hole 10 I was very relieved. I hit a really good approach on hole 14 with my five-iron but I missed the five-footer for eagle. Overall my putting was not as good today,” said Varanyu.

“I think hole 16 was a tough hole because the pin position today was crazy. It was right in behind a bunker so you had to hit it to the middle of the green and play it safe. I hit my shot left of the green and duffed my first chip, so I had to two-putt from off the green,” added the Thai who is nicknamed ‘Bank’.

Compatriot Nitithorn was disappointed not to close the gap on his compatriot Varanyu after trading three birdies against as many bogeys. The young Thai currently sits in third place on the ADT Order of Merit and hopes to cement his position with a solid result on Sunday.

“A lot of the pins today were on slopes and I had to play it safe and hit it to the middle of the green a lot. I struggled with my driver today too and I only made six fairways,” said the 21-year-old Nitithorn.

Nitithorn will apply the same game plan which helped him to victory on the ADT in Malaysia last week.

“I enjoyed playing and watching Bank today. He played so well and I am happy to be playing with him in the final group tomorrow. I just need to think like how I did last week and make as many pars as I can and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow,” added the Thai.

Thailand’s Phanuvich Onchu had reason to celebrate after acing the eighth hole from 188 yards with a six-iron. He returned with a round of 70 but his hole-in-one earned him a bottle of wine, a two-night stay at Cassia Hotel and a complimentary round of golf at Laguna Golf Phuket.

The Singha Laguna Phuket Open is the eighth leg of the 2018 ADT. Official World Golf Ranking 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.

Leading round three scores
192 – Varanyu RATTANAPHIBOONKIJ (THA) 62 61 69
200 – Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 64 66 70
201 – Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 66 67 68
202 – Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA) 66 69 67
204 – Worrasorn SUWANPANANG (THA) 68 67 69
205 – Kasidit LEPKURTE (THA) 75 66 64, Kwanchai TANNIN (THA) 69 68 68, Hein SITHU (MYN) 68 68 69, John Michael O’TOOLE (USA) 65 71 69, Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) 64 67 74

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Phuket

Motorbike driver killed in Thepkasattri road

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A motorbike driver has died after colliding with a pickup truck last night (August 20).

The incident happened near the new Honda Marine showrooms and offices on Thepkrasattri road, southbound, at about 11.45pm last night.

Rescue workers and police arrived at the scene to find a damaged motorbike on the road. Nearby they found the body of a motorbike driver who was later identified as 20 year old Nakarin Noognern from Phang Nga.

Nearby was a pickup truck. The 24 year old driver, Satawat Raksamerwong from Udon Thani, was waiting for police.

Police say that Nakarin was driving his motorbike at high speed heading from Thalang towards Phuket Town. Satawat was driving the pickup and allegedly cut across the path of the motorbike.

Khun Nakarin wasn’t wearing a helmet and no alcohol or drugs were not detected on Satawat following a drug test. Police are yet to press charges at this stage.

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Muay Thai for five year olds – Sport or child abuse?

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Video of two five year olds fighting in a boxing ring has sparked a lot of reaction. The young kids in the 17 kilo division (yes, there’s such a thing) are shown punching each other’s heads, with the occasional kick, as a crowd of baying adults urge them on.

Sanook reports that as one boy is repeatedly forced into a corner the referee makes no attempt to seriously intervene. He merely lets the boys continue flailing at each other in the center of the ring.

Neither child is wearing any head protection.

The video – posted by “Yuthaphoom Khunseuk Tragoonyang” – goes on for a full two minutes. You can watch the video HERE.

Sanook say opinion fell into two camps – one group were praising this as an expression of Thai culture though the national sport of Muay Thai, the other condemning it as nothing more than child abuse for the pleasure of adults that violated the rights of children.

Sanook said that doctors at Mahidol University have stated that 100,000 children under the age of 15 are competing in Muay Thai prize fights in Thailand. They point out that children of this age should not be fighting due to potential damage to the brain.

The Thaiger story about the Mahidol University report HERE.

Sanook said that moves are currently being made to seek a change in the law that allows such “sport”.

SOURCE: Sanook

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