Thongchai Jaidee leads by three at the Volvo Golf Champions
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand fired a seven-under par 65, in the opening round of the Volvo Golf Champions, to take a three-stroke lead over two South Africans, Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen, on Thursday, January 10, 2013.
The tournament is being staged at the Durban Country Club, featuring only the current European Tour winners and the members of the tour with 10 or more victories in the past.
Jaidee got off to a superb start, as he carded birdies on five of the first eight holes that he played. He then parred the ninth hole, to reach the turn in five under.
The back nine of the course witnessed him adding another three shots to his scorecard, while conceding the only bogey of the day on the 17th hole.
At the end of the day, he found himself in a good position to mount a pressure on his rivals, in the remaining three rounds of the tournament.
Talking about the course conditions, he said that the layout of the course did not require the driver to be used frequently.
“I enjoy the course,” he said. “You have to think a lot - I hit the driver on only two holes - and put a three-iron in my bag only 15 minutes before we teed off”.
The reigning British Open champion, Els, in the meantime, was not as impressed with Jaidee’s performance, as he was with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts’ particular shot that he played on the third hole.
Colsaerts, who is lauded as the longest hitter on the European Tour, launched an amazing 419-yard drive on the third hole. Els said that he was shocked to see such a long shot played by Colsaerts.
“I've been coming here since 1986 I think and I've never seen a ball there - nobody has,” Els commented. “They should put a plaque down. I was coming from a different zip code. And I've got to compete against these animals”.
Oosthuizen, in the meantime, said that he was unlucky to have a bad draw, as he had to play under rainy conditions.
“We probably got the bad side of the draw, but that's part of golf,” said Oosthuizen.