Golf: 'Holiday mode' Lam lies seconds

Golf: 'Holiday mode' Lam lies seconds
Singapore's golfers Lam Chih Bing (left) and Lam Zhiqun.

If Lam Chih Bing can retain his first-day position - or even slip by two slots to fourth - he will save his Asian Tour card for next season.

The Singaporean (inset), who entered the inaugural Dubai Open as holiday-cum-competition, is lying joint-second on five-under 67 after the first day of the US$500,000 ($650,000) event.

He is one shot behind Australian rookie Kalem Richardson, who did not have the benefit of a practice round at the Els Club Dubai.

Lam, who had seven birdies and two bogeys and is lying a distant 80th in the Asian Tour's Order of Merit (only top-60 gain card), flew to Dubai "not even bothered" about his Merit position.

He said: "Frankly I'm on holiday. It's the first time in Dubai and my family is coming on Saturday.

"I'm pretty much in holiday mode, no matter how it goes. If I play good this week, it'll be a bonus.

"Actually I've been playing so bad that I haven't been looking at the Order of Merit (OOM) for the past couple of months."

It was certainly a different Lam yesterday, who added: "It's nice to be making putts (he had 25). It's been a while.

"Well, obviously after a round like today you've got to feel pretty good about your game."

Having the same "nice" feeling was another Singaporean, Mardan Mamat, who shot 68 and is lying joint-sixth.

Mardan, who retained his card and is 12th on the OOM, said: "I'm happy with five birdies on the card in rather windy conditions.

"After the back nine the wind started blowing. I was able to take advantage of the morning cycle."

Richardson, who has enjoyed two top-five finishes in his last five starts, posted an eagle and five birdies to lead from Lam, Thailand's Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Craig Hinton and Christopher Cannon, both of England.

He said: "I played pretty solid, it was a pretty crazy day. Playing golf in Dubai, it's amazing really, you just look around and see the scenery and you're just enjoying yourself and I'm feeling pretty relaxed."

godfrey@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 19, 2014.
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