Jazz sets the tone at Boonchu tourney

Jazz Janewattananond during the first round yesterday.

Nakhon Ratchasima: Jazz Janewattananond fired a flawless eight-under-par 63 to take the lead by one shot at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship yesterday.

The 23-year-old Thai, who finished inside the top-three in the past two editions, renewed his affinity with the course with a bogey-free round highlighted by six birdies and an eagle at the four-million-baht event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

Fellow Thai Sorachut Hansapiban, England's Steve Lewton and Finland's Janne Kaske share second-place following matching 64s at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event held at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

"I like this course and it suits my game. Every time I come here, I enjoy the weather and the views of the course," said the two-time Asian Tour winner.

Jazz birdied the second hole before drilling in a 15-footer for eagle on hole five. He grabbed birdies on holes seven and eight for an outward 30.

"I hit a five-wood to about 15-feet and then holed that putt for eagle. It really gave me confidence going into the rest of the round. Everything just worked great for me today," added Jazz.

The young Thai relished the opportunity to play with his mentor Thongchai Jaidee in the first round, since they last played together on the Asian Tour in November.

"The last time I played with Thongchai I missed the cut in Hong Kong [Asian Tour], but this time I am playing with him again my game feels so much better. I'm listening to the advice he's telling me and it's all working out," added Jazz, who carded three more birdies in the back nine for an inward 33.

Six players take tied-fifth on 65, including Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, American Johannes Veerman and South Africa's Mathiam Keyser. Defending champion Namchok Tantipokhakul returned with a 68 to sit in tied-39th.

The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship, which is jointly sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT), is celebrating its fifth edition this year. The winner is projected to earn 10 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

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