Chapchai Stays Calm to Claim First-Round Lead in Singapore
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Thailand's Chapchai Nirat maintained Zen-like calm to soar to the top of the Singapore Open leaderboard upon his return to the Serapong Course on Friday to complete his weather-delayed first round.
Chapchai was one of 78 players, including world number one Rory McIlroy, stranded on the course on a storm-threatened Thursday but he returned early on Friday to complete a bogey-free six-under 65 for a one-shot lead.
Resuming on three-under after five holes, the stocky 29-year-old added three birdies, including one at the par-five 18th, to move a stroke clear of overnight leader Thomas Bjorn of Denmark before rushing off to start his second round.
Briton Simon Khan, Spaniard Pablo Martin and Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil, who all completed their opening rounds on Thursday before the weather halted play, sit a further shot back in a tie for third place.
McIlroy was even par when he resumed on the ninth hole and the Northern Irishman was steady for the remainder of his round, birdying the par-four 11th and parring the other holes to register a one-under 70 and join a big group tied for 21st.
Chapchai often struggled to contain his temper when things were going wrong on the course but the practicing Buddhist explained that regular meditation had helped soothe his nerves.
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