DP World Tour: Sami Valimaki and Martin Simonsen share early lead after opening 64s at Thailand Classic
Finland's Sami Valimaki and Denmark's Martin Simonsen share the lead after an opening day of low scoring in the Thailand Classic; Watch the second round live on Friday from 5.30am on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 16/02/23 4:05pm
Martin Simonsen and Sami Valimaki hold a share of the lead after a low-scoring opening round at the DP World Tour’s Thailand Classic.
The pair made the most of the calmer afternoon conditions to both card an eight-under 64 at Amata Springs Country Club, giving them a one-shot cushion over German pair Alexander Knappe and Yannik Paul.
Simonsen mixed an eagle and seven birdies with a lone bogey to move alongside clubhouse leader Valimaki, who birdied his opening three holes and registered a bogey-free round.
The Dane reached the turn in 32 and followed a birdie at the 10th with an eagle-three at the next, before cancelling out a bogey at the par-three 13th with successive gains from the 15th to share top spot.
"A really good round," Simonsen said. "I started nicely and kept it going the whole day. I just kept playing and when I started hitting the ball really well, it just made it easy. I was putting really good the whole time and when I got chances I tried to make them."
Valimaki, looking for a first DP World Tour win since the 2020 Oman Open, followed his three-birdie start by adding successive birdies from the seventh and adding three more in a five-hole stretch from the 11th.
2016 Ryder Cup player Rafa Cabrera Bello, South African Thriston Lawrence, Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist and Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay all sit two strokes back, with home favourite Kiradech Aphibarnrat three shots off the early lead a five-under 67.
Scotland's Robert MacIntyre was also part of the large group on four under par after finding a solution to his recent putting issues.
"The last four weeks have been tough on the greens," the left-hander said. "I've done a bit of work on Tuesday and realised it was more mental, not technique.
"It was about freeing myself and that's what I've done. I've changed my pre-shot routine a touch and just trusted my instincts and what I do best, that's putting a good stroke on it and hoping it goes in.
"I'm driving it well. I've really just been waiting on the putter to turn up the last few weeks. Hopefully today is a good sign."
Watch the Thailand Classic throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday from 5.30am on Sky Sports Golf
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