Phadungsil’s Phenomenal Back Nine Hands Him Lead At Avantha Masters

Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil set the stage alight making a phenomenal eight birdies on the back nine to shoot an 11-under 61 in the first round of the Avantha Masters.

The 25 year old was in scintillating form at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort in Greater Noida, near New Delhi and was only one shot away from equalling the Asian Tour's low 18-hole score record as he amassed only 22 putts in his round to take a five-shot lead over five players bunched in second place.

Having reached the turn in 33, Phadungsil birdied his first four holes on the back nine, holed an enormous putt at the 14th, and then nearly pitched in for eagle at the 15th hole before notching his seventh straight birdie at the 16th, just one shy of The European Tour record of eight, held jointly by ten players including Seve Ballesteros.

After a par at the 17th hole, Phadungsil struck a superb approach to within a foot at the last, and promptly tapped in for an 11th birdie, again, just one shy of The European Tour record of 12.

A delighted Phadungsil said, “We got a bit lucky, because it was very windy when I was practising this morning. But this afternoon the wind died down, especially on the back nine, which really helped me get close to the pins. So the weather was perfect for low scoring. I kept hitting my targets, on every hole. It felt very easy, but it wasn’t! I’m a little surprised at how well I played.”

Chinnarat became the youngest winner on the Asian Tour when he won his first title on home soil in 2005 at the age of 17 years and five days. Eight years later and armed with three titles on the region's premier Tour, the 25-year-old continues to create headlines with this incredible performance.