Denwit Boriboonsub has put himself in position to claim a unique hat-trick of titles in successive weeks after taking a share of the lead today following round two of the US$1 million Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund.

The 20-year-old Thai golfer claimed the Aramco Invitational, also in Saudi Arabia, two weeks ago on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), followed by the Thailand Open last week and is clearly still in the zone after shooting a five-under-par 66 at Riyadh Golf Club.

He leads on eight-under along with countryman Phachara Khongwatmai, who also returned a 66, and Australian Todd Sinnott, after a 67 thanks to holing his second for an eagle two on his final hole, on a much calmer day following yesterday’s windier weather – in the season-ending event on the Asian Tour.

Pittayarat “Coconut” Panuphol from Thailand is one shot back after a 67, while Sweden’s Bjorn Hellgren returned the same score and is a further stroke behind.

Korea’s Bio Kim and Henrik Stenson from Sweden, who made a double on his final hole, carded 67s and are five-under along with Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma and Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong, both in with 68s.

First-round leader Chapchai Nirat from Thailand is also five-under after shooting a 73.

Denwit beat England’s William Harrold in a sudden-death play-off at Rolling Hills Golf Club to win what was the final event on the ADT’s season 12 days ago, which also allowed him to claim the ADT Order of Merit title.

The Merit list victory earned him his Asian Tour card for next year, and judging by today’s performance he has what it takes to compete on the main tour.

“Today’s round was very good golf,” said Denwit, who triumphed in his national Open – an event on the All Thailand Golf Tour – after leading from the second round onwards.

“I was just being patient out there but was lucky there was no wind out there today.

He made an eye-catching birdie on the par-four 18th after reaching the green from the tee.

He added: “It’s a 318 carry to the front edge. I just tried to hit a bomb and it was down wind a little bit.”

Birdies on three of the last four holes saw him take the lead. He made six birdies in total and dropped just one shot.

Asked about the secret to his success recently he said: “Yeah, it’s just a bit lucky in those last few events, but yeah, I’ve worked hard for this, and I want to finish strong this year. Just being happy, that’s the main key.”

Phachara’s presence at the top of the leaderboard will surprise no one as he has been close to victory in the last few months with five top-15 finishes in his last seven starts, including losing in a sudden-death play-off at the Shinhan Donghae Open.

He said: “Today I started pretty good and then made bogey, bogey on 16 and 17 on my first nine, and on my back nine five under. You know, it was solid round today, maybe struggled with my putter on some holes but I had a lot of good putts today.

“Today is quite less wind, the conditions were very good and the greens softer. Yesterday I think it was harder because it was windy and many people struggled, but I still played under par and then today got better.”

Asked if he thought he could finally win this week, he answered: “I don’t think about that, you know, I just like to play my game. Play and let the people watch and have fun together.”

Sinnott, who is in 58th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and needed a good week to finish in the top-65 to keep his card for next year, used a sand wedge to hole out on the par-four ninth – his final hole as he began on 10.

“I had 103 meters and kind of a hair off the right wind, so I just hit a little hold up sand wedge,” said Sinnott. 

“That was perfect, I thought it would be close but yeah, a nice little cherry on top when it goes in.

“The tournament is moving on nicely. I probably hit a fair bit better than what I scored today I feel. I kind of just felt like every hole I was just going over the edge of the hole, feeling like I was hitting good putts. So yeah, I just hung patiently and got a couple back on the last hole which was nice, kind of evened it out.”

Ratchanon ‘TK” Chantananuwat, Thailand’s amateur phenom, fired a 72 and is four under and in a tie for 12th.

Scores after round 2 of the Saudi Open presented by PIF being played at the par 71, 7246 Yards Riyadh Golf Club course (am – denotes amateur):
134 – Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 68-66, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 68-66, Todd Sinnott (AUS) 67-67.
135 – Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 68-67.
136 – Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 69-67.
137 – Bio Kim (KOR) 70-67, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-67, Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN) 69-68, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 69-68, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 64-73, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 70-67, Seungtaek Lee (KOR) 68-69.
138 – Chanmin Jung (KOR) 67-71, Douglas Klein (AUS) 69-69, James Piot (USA) 71-67, William Harrold (ENG) 70-68, Ratchanon Chantananuwat (am, THA) 66-72, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (IND) 71-67, Tomoyo Ikemura (JPN) 70-68, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 68-70, S. Chikkarangappa (IND) 71-67.
139 – Luis Carrera (MEX) 66-73, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 69-70, Ben Leong (MAS) 72-67, Travis Smyth (AUS) 71-68.
140 – Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 72-68, Yongjun Bae (KOR) 72-68, Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 71-69, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 76-64, Yoseop Seo (KOR) 73-67, Charng-Tai Sudsom (THA) 76-64, Wang Wei-hsuan (TPE) 71-69, Joel Stalter (FRA) 71-69.
141 – Ryosuke Kinoshita (JPN) 73-68, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 71-70, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 70-71, Steve Lewton (ENG) 69-72, Kyongjun Moon (KOR) 71-70, Yikeun Chang (KOR) 71-70.
142 – Ian Snyman (RSA) 74-68, Guntaek Koh (KOR) 71-71, Scott Hend (AUS) 73-69, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 68-74, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 72-70, Berry Henson (USA) 71-71, Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 73-69, Prom Meesawat (THA) 71-71, Taehee Lee (KOR) 72-70, Angelo Que (PHI) 70-72, Othman Raouzi (MOR) 70-72, Joshua Grenville-Wood (UAE) 72-70, Soufiane Dahmane (am, MOR) 73-69.
143 – Yeongsu Kim (KOR) 74-69, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 71-72, Matthew Cheung (HKG) 74-69, Danthai Boonma (THA) 69-74, Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 72-71, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 73-70, Kevin Na (USA) 67-76.
144 – Natipong Srithong (THA) 73-71, Saleh Alkaabi (am, QAT) 74-70, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 73-71, Ervin Chang (MAS) 73-71, Michael Maguire (USA) 74-70, Settee Prakongvech (THA) 70-74, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 71-73, Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 72-72, Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 75-69, Jeremy Gandon (FRA) 76-68, Justin Quiban (PHI) 77-67.
145 – Shahriffuddin Ariffin (MAS) 78-67, Faisal Salhab (KSA) 75-70, Ayoub Lguirati (MOR) 73-72, Khalid Walid Attieh (am, KSA) 74-71, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 76-69, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 71-74, Bai Zhengkai (CHN) 70-75.
146 – Rashid Khan (IND) 76-70, Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 75-71, Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 73-73, Aaron Wilkin (AUS) 71-75, Naraajie Ramadhanputra (INA) 76-70, Barnes Franklin-Wallis (ENG) 75-71.
147 – Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 72-75, A.J. Batty (ENG) 77-70, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 73-74, Saud Al Sharif (KSA) 76-71.
148 – Othman Almulla (KSA) 76-72, David Drysdale (SCO) 72-76, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 69-79, Sam Brazel (AUS) 75-73.
149 – Ayoub Ssouadi (MOR) 78-71, Nicholas Fung (MAS) 73-76, Matt Killen (ENG) 73-76.
150 – Zane Scotland (ENG) 79-71, Ahmed Marjan (MOR) 75-75, Chen Guxin (CHN) 75-75, K.P. Lin (TPE) 76-74, Sam Mullane (am, UAE) 72-78.
151 – Turk Pettit (USA) 74-77, Elyes Barhoumi (am, TUN) 81-70, Kevin Yuan (AUS) 75-76.
152 – Shergo Al Kurdi (ENG) 74-78, Doyeob Mun (KOR) 78-74.
153 – Ali Alsakha (am, KSA) 75-78, Alex Ching (USA) 83-70, Angus Flanagan (ENG) 78-75.
155 – Runchanapong Youprayong (THA) 76-79.
156 – Issa Abouelela (am, EGY) 78-78, Kipp Popert (am, ENG) 77-79.
157 – Mustapha El Maouas (MOR) 75-82.
158 – Ayoub Id-Omar (MOR) 74-84.
165 – Prince Khalid Al-Faisal (am, KSA) 87-78.
171 – Jamal Allali (MOR) 85-86.
+2 (144) was the final cut, 70 players made the cut

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