Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond needed all his patience in grinding out a second round of even par 71 as he slipped to tied seventh place and four behind American leader, Xander Schauffele in a weather-hit Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 men’s golf competition on Friday.
The 25-year-old Jazz had opened with a blistering 64 on Thursday but endured a more difficult day with 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey at Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East course which frustrated the young Thai.
“I mean it’s golf, right?” said Jazz after his uneventful round.
“Sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you have a bad day. I would say today is kind of in the middle. I didn’t play as good, I didn’t hit it as good. I didn’t give myself enough chances. Struggling with lines, struggling with the spin, couldn’t control it. But I’m actually not too upset because I knew I was struggling and I was just trying to get it around without doing too much damage.”
In 2016, Jazz spent two weeks in a Buddhist monastery where he learned to become a monk which taught him some invaluable lessons. A six-time winner in Asia, the young Thai hopes to use his life’s lessons in a bold bid to deliver a medal for Thailand.
“I mean, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it works, it works great. Somehow you can try anything on the golf course when you have a bad day you almost can’t fix it. You just have to accept it and try to play with it and try to make yourself happy,” said Jazz, who was tied with Ireland’s Major champions, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.
“Because sometimes you give too much importance to golf, you forget why you’re doing this for a living, why you started playing because it’s fun. Some people just take it too seriously.”
With World No. 5 and four-time PGA TOUR winner Schauffele flying into a clubhouse second-round lead with two eagles on his card en route to a sizzling 63, Jazz knows he has some catching up to do over the next two days.
“I think I have put myself in a pretty good position like if someone were to ask me, okay, you’re two strokes back or three strokes back even going into the last two days would you take it right now before the tournament start and I would say I would,” he said.
Home hero Hideki Matsuyama, the reigning Masters champion, charged up the leaderboard at 8-under for the tournament when he brilliantly negotiated his 16 holes in 6-under to lie in a share of third place when play was suspended for the day at 5.20pm.
Matsuyama and 15 other players will return at 7.45am Saturday to complete their second rounds, with the third round scheduled to begin from 9.30am to 11.18am.
India’s Anirban Lahiri stands at 4-under in tied 20th place after trading two birdies against as many bogeys through 16 holes of his second round. China’s Carl Yuan was also at 4-under after playing 15 holes in 2-under.
Schauffele was happy to be in the driver’s seat, and also in the clubhouse as he had completed his round just before the horn below for the suspension. “I just kind got in a nice flow there at the end. Kind of one of those situations where I wish I could play some more holes. It was nice to sort of make that last putt on 18 before they blew that horn,” he said.