On a tight and narrow course and under the scorching sun, Singapore’s Quincy Quek managed to fire an opening round 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead at the Haikou Championship, which was suspended at 7:01pm due to darkness with one group left to complete their round.
The final three players will tee-off at 7:20 am to play out their final three holes at Sunac Haikou 3KM Golf Club while the second round will start as previously scheduled at 7:10am.
Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul, who has two career wins on the PGA TOUR Series-China, shot a 67 to lie in second, one ahead of American David Kocher and Chinese amateur Yang Kuang, who is among one of the three players yet to finish their opening round.
With temperatures reaching as high as 96 degrees Fahrenheit, Quek fired seven birdies through his opening 17 holes before carding his only bogey of the day on the long par-5 18th, measuring nearly 600 yards.
Despite the finish, Quek, who finished 42nd on the Tour’s Order of Merit in 2018, was optimistic in his post match interview as he looks to keep the putts dropping.
“I think I rolled the ball quite well on the greens. I hit a few wedge shots in to about 3-feet early on so three birdies there on the front nine,” said Quek, who birdied both the par-5s on the front nine. “The back nine I holed some longer putts and that really helped. I’m very happy with the round today and am looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”
Charoenkul celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday [Wednesday] and is off to a great start in Haikou with his wife Vichuda helping out on the bag this week.
“I heard a knock on my door and my friends surprised me with two birthday cakes. It was a great surprise.” said Charoenkul, who carded six birdies and one bogey. “I just told myself to take out the driver and hit it as hard as you can and there were a lot of wedge shots in there today and I hit those really good today.”