April 12: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee enjoyed a career milestone at the Masters Tournament when he safely made the halfway cut with a second round of two-over-par 74 at Augusta National on Friday.
The EurAsia Cup star, who captained Team Asia to a tie with Europe in Malaysia last month, carded two birdies against four bogeys for a three-over-par 147 total, which put him in a share of 37th place in the year’s opening Major.
It was the first time the former Asian Tour number one has made the halfway cut at the Masters following two previous appearances, becoming the first Thai to achieve the feat at Augusta National.
Sukree Onsham, Thaworn Wiratchant and Prayad Marksaeng are the other Thais who have played at the Masters.
It also enabled Thongchai to complete his ‘career grand slam’ of made cuts in all the Major championships.
“I played quite well today. My overall game was good but my putting has been a bit below my usual standard but the greens here are never easy,” said Thongchai.
He particularly enjoyed a long birdie putt on 10, although he gave the shot straight back on 11.
“I holed a long birdie putt on the 10th hole, it was like a 30 footer. I was very short of the green but I felt great after I holed that. Making the cut has been my small goal here and now that I’ve done it, I’ll try to keep my form stable. There’s no more pressure.”
Korean star K.J. Choi slipped back from his overnight tied fifth place to equal 21st after battling to a 75, despite starting his second round with two early birdies. He dropped four bogeys, one double bogey and posted a birdie on 13 for a 145 total.
The halfway cut was set at 148 with Asian Tour honorary members Ernie Els (149) and Y.E. Yang (154) missing the cut. Korea’s Bae Sang-moon, a multiple winner on the Asian Tour, also missed the cut by one shot following a bogey on 18.
Another honorary member Vijay Singh, a former Masters winner, is tied 26th on 146 after shooting a 71 on Friday.
American left-hander Bubba Watson leads the halfway stage by three shots on 137.