Chonburi (Thailand), March 6 (IANS) Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata edged closer to making his return to the world’s oldest Major after a first round four-under-par 68 saw him take his place atop the leaderboard at the Open Qualifying Series – Thailand Thursday.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Singapore’s Koh Dengshan also remained in the hunt for a place at The Open Championship when they posted matching 69s to share second place with Spain’s Carlos Pigem and Japan’s Akinori Tani at the 36-hole qualifying event which is held at the Amata Spring Country Club.
The hotly contested two-day qualifier has brought together an international field of 75 players from 18 countries who are vying for one of the four places to The Open Championship which will be held at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake from July 17-20.
Iwata is hoping to tee up against the world’s best players at The Open Championship again as it has been more than six years since he made his debut in 2008.
“It was such a great round of golf. Everything worked to my advantage and I’m proud to be able to lead under such windy conditions today,” said Iwata in a Asian Tour News press release.
He was inspired by his opening round efforts where he enjoyed a blemish-free round highlighted by four birdies on holes seven, 11, 13 and 17. However, the Japanese said he was cautious of getting ahead of himself.
“It’s far from over and anything can happen Friday. I’m going to try my best. I missed the cut when I played in The Open Championship in 2008. Hopefully I can make my return again this year and do better,” said Iwata