Young golfer Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand matched Australian Greg Norman’s course record on the Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club on Friday, Nov. 26 with an imperious eight-under-par 64.

However, the feat was not counted as an official record. Regardless, the 23-year-old Thai golfer stormed to the top of the leaderboard at the $1 million Blue Canyon Phuket Championship.

Sadom had eight brilliant birdies that saw him move into the lead on 12 under par by a stroke over John Catlin. The American was the first-round leader who shot 68.

Korean Sihwan Kim and Chinese-Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang were not far behind with a stroke further behind after rounds of 66 and 68 respectively in the event that marks the resumption of the Asian Tour’s 2020-21 season, following a 20-month hiatus caused by the pandemic.

“My game today is pretty good,” Sadom, whose round also matched South African Anton Haig’s 64 from the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic, said.

“Especially iron play and putting. I hit close to the pin and made many birdies. And I have only missed one fairway this week,” he added.

So far, Sadom has claimed four titles on the All Thailand Golf Tour in the past two months including the Thailand Open. He is emerging as one of the tournament favorites alongside Catlin.

“Initially this week I was just focusing on making the cut, but I am changing my game plan for tomorrow and looking to go further,” Sadom stated.

Catlin had a sublime 65 to take the first-round lead on Thursday, Nov. 25 and stayed in the hunt thanks to his six birdies and just two dropped shots.

“I played well today but need to go to the range and work on a few things,” Catlin said.

“It was a very early start today. I was up at 4.30am and we didn’t get back until late last night, so I basically went straight to bed. But it’s great to be in this position and have a chance at the weekend,” the American added.

Joohyung Kim, the 19-year-old Korean star, came in with a 67 and is four off the lead.

Australian Wade Ormsby, the current leader of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, shot a 69 and is six off the pace, while Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond returned a 72 to surprisingly miss the cut, made at one under, by four.

Thailand’s 14-year-old golf prodigy Ratchanon Chantananuwat signed for a 72 to become the third-youngest player to make the cut on the Asian Tour. He’s on one under par and as the only amateur to survive the halfway cut has secured the low amateur award.

This week’s Blue Canyon Phuket Championship will be followed by the Laguna Phuket Championship next week at Laguna Golf Phuket.

Both Phuket events boast prizemoney of $1 million and will be followed by two events being planned in Singapore in January that will bring to a conclusion the 2020-21 season.

Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand
Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand Photo credit: Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.