Pro Golf round of year to date on European Tour
I’m not going to tell you to remember the name Chapchai Nirat (or is it Nirat Chapchai?) I can never get asian names right, uncertain as to whether the last name equals our first name, or versa vice…
I won’t predict that CN or NC or Chappy is the next great Thailandic thing, since predictions of that ilk are folly. Media folk love to be the first to predict the ascendance of a nascent talent…what skill is there in that? Better to provide a well-researched article than fire bullets wildly at prepubescent targets, hoping for the one big prediction-score.
What I do know is that Chapchai made eleven birdies and seven pars on Thursday to lead the Euro Tour event at minus-eleven. By my count, he has the round of the year to date. After three rounds, this chap has a five-stroke lead…could have been more, but he finished with twin bogeys on Saturday. With no major players in tow (closest is Lee Westwood at nine back, with youthful Oliver Fisher one closer) the event is Chappy’s to lose or win.
We’ll see what he is made of…he hasn’t exactly owned the first six holes of the course, playing them in a combined -6. It is the middle six where he has torched the place, playing 7-12 in -9, and 13-18 again in -6. Actually, that’s pretty balanced. No stretch has seemed too difficult, but as the collar tightens on Sunday, we’ll see what he has in the belly. Only one who revels in such Schadenfreude as accompanies a final-round collapse (a la Greg Norman, Augusta, 1996) would wish any ill fortune on this husky, likable golfer.
What I know is this…I made eleven aces playing online minigolf at the Mark Twain Golf Course site today…that’s online minigolf, not the Yalong Bay Golf Club on Hainan Island. To fire 11 birdies, including 4 holes in a row and 8 out of 10, is a better feat than my 11 aces in online minigolf.
If Chapchai wins, he’ll be yet another fun and emerging name to pronounce (added to the likes of Thongchai Jadee and Jeev Milkah Singh) and another other-world talent to follow.
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