Pipatpong hopes to go one better

Malaysia's Shaaban Hussin will try to put on a successful title defence ©Arep Kulal|PGM
Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussin will try to put on a successful title defence ©Arep Kulal|PGM

Georgetown [PENANG]: Thailand’s Pipatpong Naewsuk will be looking to follow his runner-finish in the Singha Chiangmai Open on Sunday with another good performance at this week’s Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) ASEAN PGA Penang Championship.

Pipatpong is finding his feet again in professional golf after completing two years of Army service and pushed eventual winner Chapchai Nirat all the way in Chiangmai.

The pair were level coming to the last hole with Chapchai taking the title thanks to an unlikely birdie from a hazard while Pipatpong dropped the only shot of his round.

Pipatpong, a double gold medallist at the 2007 SEA Games where he edged celebrated countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat into silver medal position in the individual event, picked up US$5,321 for his second place finish which saw him climb to fourth place on the ASEAN PGA Tour’s Road to Sabah Masters rankings.

He is raring to get back into action at Penang Golf Club from August 6-9.“I’m looking forward to playing in Penang and continuing my good form,” said Pipatpong, who was sixth in the PGM-ASEAN PGA Melaka Championship in May. “I had a good week in Chiangmai and could have won.”

The Thai faces a strong domestic field featuring defending champion Mohd Shaaban Hussin, 2012 ASEAN PGA Tour number one Nicholas Fung and Danny Chia, who marked his recovery from injury with a victory in May’s PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship.

Singapore veteran Mardan Mamat, a strong supporter of ASEN PGA Tour events, and compatriot Choo Tze Huang, sixth at the Taifong Open in Chinese Taipei last month, are also in the line-up along with Thai teenager Phachara Kwongwatmai, who made history by winning the 2013 Singha Hua Hin Open aged just 14.

The PGM-ASEAN PGA Penang Championship is co-sanctioned by the ASEAN PGA Tour and the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour.