Bethpage, New York, May 18: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond continued his remarkable debut at the PGA Championship by signing for a second round two-under-par 68 to take a share of 10th place on Friday.
Jazz, who is playing on a special exemption at the year’s second Major, showed no signs of nerve as he took on the world’s best players at the demanding Bethpage Black course.
After opening with a 70, the three-time Asian Tour winner, resumed his charge by marking his card with three birdies and a bogey for a two-day total of two-under-par 138, 10 shots back of American history-maker, Brooks Koepka, who recorded the lowest 36-hole score in a Major championship after he signed for a 65.
“I didn’t feel any pressure on the golf course. I love it (playing here). It’s my first time playing in such a crowd and hearing them shout my name. I don’t know how to react to it. They give me some really funny names but I try not to remember it,”said Jazz.
While he may only be playing at Bethpage Black for the first time, Jazz is already putting his limited knowledge of the course to good use.
“If you’re in the rough here, you just got to take your medicine. You’ve to try to get it back to the fairways with a short iron. You have to be patient and try your best not to get a bogey. That’s all I need to know,” said Jazz.
American Kurt Kitayama, a one-time Asian Tour winner, safely made it into the weekend rounds after returning with a 68 to take a share of 47th place.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, together with 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, David Lipsky and South Africa’s Justin Harding are also through after they made the cut which was set at four-over par.
South Africa’s Shaun Norris meanwhile made the early exit after posting rounds of 73 and 74.
ROUND ONE REPORT
Bethpage, New York, May 17: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond opened his campaign with an even-par 70 to trail defending champion American Brooks Koepka by seven shots in the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Thai, playing on a special exemption on the PGA TOUR this week, took a share of 17th place along with American David Lipsky, who matched Jazz’s opening day efforts at the challenging Bethpage Black course.
Jazz, a three-time Asian Tour winner, traded three birdies against as many bogeys to finish two shots ahead of reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods (72) who sits in tied-51st.
Koepka, who is looking to become first player to successfully defend a PGA title since Woods did in 2007, set the course record with his spectacular bogey-free round of 63.
South Africa’s Shaun Norris posted a 73 to take tied-74th place while countryman Justin Harding sits in tied-91st alongside American Kurt Kitayama on matching 74s.
Thailand’s number one player Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who is making his sixth appearance at this week’s Major, struggled to a 76 to take tied-123rd place.