Bangkok: American William Cannon fired his way to the top with a sparking eight-under-par 64 to lead the class with Australia’s Todd Sinnot after the opening round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand on Wednesday.
17-year-old Indian amateur Arjun Prasad produced another near-flawless performance with a 66 that would bring him closer to making his professional debut on the Asian Tour. The young Indian, who counts Asian Tour honorary member Jeev Milkha Singh as his role model, has been in scintillating form, having claimed a remarkable come-from-behind victory in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in China last year.
Australia’s Jack Wilson, who topped the class after the first stage to progress into this week’s ultimate test, gave another eye-catching performance when he signed for a 70 while Korean-American Sejun Yoon, who like Wilson had earlier emerged as the leader after the first stage, struggled to find that similar form when he returned with a 71 at the Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country Club.
William Cannon said, “I managed to hit the ball in all the good spots and didn’t really put myself in too much trouble throughout the day. I’m from Birmingham Alabama in the United States and I played in the University of Alabama for four years. I tried to get onto the Web.com but unfortunately I didn’t make it. I felt this is the next best step to further my career and get some good tournament experience in Asia. I decided to come over here and it has been great so far. I’ve been here in Thailand for three weeks now and I like it so far. It’s January but it feels like summer to me. All the heat and conditions you have to deal with are certainly a factor for me. At the end of the day, you got to play good golf and there’s no easy way around it.”
“Fortunately, I managed to do that today. It was a big decision to travel all the way across the world, leave my family and come here to play but I know this will be a great step forward and there’s great competition over here. This is the best place for me to go to make my game better and this is where I want to be. I have a couple of friends like Casey O’Toole who have come here. He made it through the ADT and that has given me a lot of hope that I can do the same thing.” He added.
Arjun Prasad said, “It’s a good morale booster for me. I played some solid golf today and didn’t make too much mistakes. I followed my game plan closely. This is my second week in Thailand and it’s getting pretty tiring already. My high school exams are next week and I’m making a big sacrifice by being here. I’ve been playing golf for the last eight years and I won the Faldo Series Asia Grand Finals in China last year. My golf career has been good so far. I planning to turn professional if I can earn my Asian Tour card this week. I always look up to Jeev Sir as my inspiration from the very start. He has been a great role model and I hope to emulate his success one day.”