(Reuters) - Thai teenager Danthai Boonma made a blistering start to the professional golf ranks by firing a bogey free six-under-par 66 in the opening round of the Asian Tour’s King’s Cup on Thursday.
The 18-year-old’s efforts at the Khon Kaen Golf Club in northeast Thailand were enough for a share of third at the $500,000 event, one shot behind early pace-setters S.S.P. Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri of India.
Danthai could not have picked a better course to make the transition from promising amateur to the professional ranks, having enjoyed a lengthy training camp at the layout prior to September’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
“Nice way to get my professional career going with a round like this. It’s a dream start and I’m really happy,” said Danthai, who won team and individual gold medals at the 2012 Southeast Asian Games.
“I’m used to this golf course too as this was our training base for the Asian Games where we won the team bronze medal this year too.”
Danthai was joined on six-under by another double SEA Games gold medalist from Thailand, Phiphatphong Naewsuk, and Australian Kalem Richardson.
Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, winner of last week’s Manila Masters, was in a tie for ninth after shooting a 68.
Reporting by Patrick Johnston; Editing by John O'Brien