Singapore's Quincy Quek is seen in action in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
HAIKOU, China -- On a tight and narrow course and under the scorching sun, Singapore's Quincy Quek managed to fire an opening round 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead at the Haikou Championship, which was suspended at 7:01 pm due to darkness with one group left to complete their round.
The final three players will tee-off at 7:20 am to play out their final three holes at Sunac Haikou 3KM Golf Club while the second round will start as previously scheduled at 7:10 am.
Thailand's Gunn Charoenkul, who has two career wins on the PGA TOUR Series-China, shot a 67 to lie in second, one ahead of American David Kocher and Chinese amateur Yang Kuang, who is among one of the three players yet to finish their opening round.
With temperatures reaching as high as 96 degrees Fahrenheit, Quek fired seven birdies through his opening 17 holes before carding his only bogey of the day on the long par-5 18th, measuring nearly 600 yards.
Thailand's Gunn Charoenkul is seen in action in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Despite the finish, Quek, who finished 42nd on the Tour's Order of Merit in 2018, was optimistic in his post match interview as he looks to keep the putts dropping.
"I think I rolled the ball quite well on the greens. I hit a few wedge shots in to about 3-feet early on so three birdies there on the front nine," said Quek, who birdied both the par-5s on the front nine. "The back nine I holed some longer putts and that really helped. I'm very happy with the round today and am looking forward to the rest of the tournament."
Charoenkul celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday [Wednesday] and is off to a great start in Haikou with his wife Vichuda helping out on the bag this week.
"I heard a knock on my door and my friends surprised me with two birthday cakes. It was a great surprise." said Charoenkul, who carded six birdies and one bogey. "I just told myself to take out the driver and hit it as hard as you can and there were a lot of wedge shots in there today and I hit those really good today."
Did you know that Quincy Quek won his first professional golf tournament at the 2012 ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship in the Philippines. It was an Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
China's Chen Zihao is seen in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The course this week is a par-72 totaling 7,095 yards.
Quincy Quek served two years in the Singapore military before turning pro in April 2009.
Quek is married to Celine Tay and they share a two-year old daughter.
Quek has made nine hole in ones in his life since he started playing golf at 10 years old.
Quek recorded two top-10s on the Tour in 2018 including a T6 at last year's Kunming Championship after shooting a 9-under 62 in the final round.
Gunn Charoenkul's two victories on the Tour came at the 2014 Yunnan Open and 2016 Chongqing Newtown KingRun Open.
Along with Kuang, American Joshua Salah and Australia's Hayden Webb are the other two players yet to finish their opening round.
After missing the cut in the season's opening two events, China's Zihao Chen currently lies in T5 after an opening round 69.
Chinese amateur Yuxin Lin, who played in the both the 2018 Masters Tournament and the 2018 Open Championship, lies in T10.
David Kocher passed the Monday qualifier at the season-opening event in Chongqing before finishing third and followed that with a T18 finish at last week's 54-hole event in Sanya.
No player managed to go bogey-free during the opening round.Responsible editor： 石一涵
This is HainanTake you into Hainan and understand Hainan Enter the column