51-derful: Jimenez Takes Lead at Thailand
Ponce de Leon believed the Fountain of Youth was located somewhere in what is now Florida. Miguel Angel Jimenez would have you believe it’s actually in Southeast Asia.
The 51-year-old Spaniard fired a 66 on Friday at the True Thailand Classic, dropping to 11-under and taking a one-stroke lead halfway through the tournament.
Only a bogey on No. 9 – his last of the day – kept him from opening up a 3-stroked lead over Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who recorded his second straight 67 to reach 10-under.
Aphibarnrat had about the wildest round of 67 you’re likely to see at the professional level – five birdies, three bogeys, an eagle, and eight pars. The eagle came on the 553-yard No. 2, the second time he’s done that in two days.
Three players are tied for third at 9-under, among them local hero Thongchai Jaidee, who stroked a 66. Jaidee is the top-ranked Asian player in the world at No. 39. One of the most unique stories in golf, Jaidee didn’t start playing until he was 16 and didn’t turn pro until he was 30.
Now 45, he is seeking a second European Tour title in as many seasons, and his seventh overall.
Day One leader Michael Hoey, who set a course record with a 64 on Thursday, slid back eight strokes and is tied for eighth a 8-under.