Thailand’s Ittiphat Buranathanyarat took advantage of his short nap while waiting for play to begin by firing an opening round eight-under-par 64 to surge to the top of the leaderboard at the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India on Thursday.
The first round of the Panasonic Open India was delayed by slightly more than four hours due to weather and visibility conditions. Only players from the morning session managed to tee off with tournament organisers opting for a four-tee start to make up for the lost time.
"It was okay," Ittiphat said. "I just needed to wear a mask and apart from that, it was business as usual.
"There was a long wait and it was almost after four hours that I got to tee off. I fell asleep once during that wait.
"I couldn’t really see where the ball was beyond 250 yards as I’m short sighted so I had to rely on my caddie’s advice."
"I just needed to wear a mask and apart from that, it was business as usual." – Ittiphat Buranathanyarat
Players from the afternoon session are scheduled to start their rounds at 11am (local time) on Friday morning at the Classic Golf and Country Club.
An energised Ittiphat shrugged off any weather concerns by opening with two consecutive birdies in his opening sixth and seventh holes. He then went on a five-hole birdie blitz starting from the par-4 13th before dropping his only shot of the day on the 1st hole.
The Thai responded quickly with an eagle-three on the 3rd hole before two more birdies on holes 6 and 7 soared him atop the leaderboard where he would eventually take a two-shot lead over Indonesia’s Danny Masrin.
Masrin, who is searching for his maiden Asian Tour victory this week, returned with a bogey-free 66, while in-form Shiv Kapur of India signed for a 67 for a share of third place with American Ben Geyer a further shot in tied-eighth place after he returned with a 68.