Hua Hin, Thailand (SportsNetwork.com) – Michael Hoey fired an 8-under 64 on
Thursday and he grabbed a 1-stroke lead at the inaugural Thailand Classic.
Hoey has five European Tour titles to his name, with the last victory coming
at the 2013 Russian Open.
David Lipsky carded a 65 at Black Mountain Golf Club and he was joined in
second place by Carlos Pigem and Chien-yao Hung.
Shiv Kapur stands alone in fifth place at 6-under 66.
Renato Paratore birdied five of six holes on his second nine to soar into a
share of the lead, but he dropped three shots in two holes to fall back to
minus-5. He shares sixth place with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Prayad Marksaeng,
Scott Hend, Alexander Noren, Matt Ford, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Pariya
Hoey played the back nine first on Thursday and he got on the board with a
birdie at the 11th. He picked up another stroke as he birdied the par-5 13th.
After three straight pars, Hoey birdied the 17th and made it two in a row with
a birdie on the par-5 18th.
Around the turn, Hoey continued to roll. He moved to 5-under with a birdie at
No. 2. He poured in three consecutive birdie chances from the fourth to leap
into the lead at minus-8. Hoey, who birdies all four par-5s, finished his
round with three straight pars.
“We had 10 or 11 holes with not much wind, which was an advantage teeing off
early. I hit the ball well, and it suits me that there’s a bit of length off
the tee. You can carry a few corners and reach the par-5s in two,” Hoey said.
“It has been a long time since I had a bogey-free card. To be bogey-free and
have no fives on the card is a nice start. I’m swinging the club well so
hopefully I can put three more good rounds together and see what happens.”
Lipsky and Pigem started at the same time, but on opposite nines. Lipsky
opened with birdies at 10 and 12. He also birdied the 14th. Back-to-back
birdies at 17 and 18 pushed Lipsky to minus-5.
On the front nine, Lipsky birdied the second and sixth to inch within one of
the lead. He stumbled to a bogey on the par-3 eighth, but came right back with
a birdie on the ninth.
“It was pretty good today. I hit the ball well. It was tricky to get to a lot
of these (pin) locations. I’m pretty happy with the way I played. I hit it
close with my wedges and I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Lipsky said.
Pigem had two birdies and seven pars on the front nine. He started the back
nine with five pars and a birdie at the 13th. Pigem notched consecutive
birdies at 16 and 17. The Spaniard jumped into a share of second place as he
closed with an eagle on the par-5 18th.
Hung posted birdies at the 10th and 13th to start his round. He carded three
pars in a row from the 14th. Hung dropped in a birdie effort on No. 17 and
followed with another on the 18th.
After three pars to start his second nine, Hung ran off three birdies in a
four-hole span from the fourth to jump to minus-7. He parred his final two
holes to end there.
NOTES: Hoey was the only player to hit all 18 greens in regulation … Last
week’s winner Anirban Lahiri, the highest ranked player in the field at world
No. 37, opened with a 3-under 69, which left him tied for 30th … Simon Khan
withdrew due to a knee injury after shooting a 78, while Paul Waring pulled
out on the 15th hole with a shoulder injury.