Sweden & Thailand -7 in tough conditions

Black Mountain men Prom and Karlberg lead with fine 65

Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Swedish star Rikard Karlberg showed steely resolve to share the opening round lead at the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin after shooting matching seven-under-par 65s on Thursday.

Prom and Karlberg, who are both representing Black Mountain Golf Club, were the toast in the opening round as they held a one-shot lead from Angelo Que of the Philippines and Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei.

Prom, a Hua Hin native, hopes to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2006 after losing in two play-offs in the Philippines and Hong Kong late last year.

“I’ve already got those two play-off defeats out of my mind and I’ve been telling myself to concentrate on this week and the new season so that I can get my second win,” said Prom.

The 29-year-old overcame the gusty conditions in the morning by putting his vast playing experience in Europe to good effect as he marked his card with two eagles, five birdies and two bogeys.

“Actually such conditions are not really new to me as I’ve played in similar conditions before. I had a good experience playing in Europe with the strong winds. They really helped me with my club selection which showed in my score today,” said Prom.

Karlberg, who recently got engaged to his long-time girlfriend Pernilla, found further joy on the picturesque Black Mountain Golf Club, which is also the Swede’s home course.

“Everything’s going so well in my life especially with my engagement to Pernilla and I just want to enjoy my golf now,” smiled Karlberg.

Karlberg’s only blemish came at the par-four 15th after he double-bogeyed but seven birdies and one eagle kept the 27-year-old well positioned for his third Asian Tour win.

“It was so windy but I stayed in the game even though I had a double-bogey but I did well to finish off the round. I hit some great shots and holed many putts coming in. So I’m very pleased with my result,” said the Swede.

Sweden’s Johan Edfors and Fredrik Andersson Hed stayed in touch with the leaders after posting solid 70s which was matched by Scotland’s Simon Yates. The Black Mountain sponsored trio shared 17th position.

Other Black Mountain sponsored players including Thailand’s teen sensation Jazz Janewattananond, Pelle Edberg of Sweden and Berry Henson of the United States posted a 73, 75 and 76 respectively.