• Thailand Golf Championship

Cejka snatches Thailand lead from Rose

ESPN staff
December 12, 2013
Justin Rose shot a seven-under 65 © Getty Images

Justin Rose saw his early clubhouse lead at the Thailand Golf Championship snatched away from him by Germany's Alex Cejka, who is out in front by one after carding an eight-under 64 in Bangkok.

Thailand's Arnond Vongvanij is tied with Rose for second place at the Amata Spring Country Club after both posted 65s. Vongvanij made nine birdies and two bogeys.

Cejka, who has 10 career wins to his name with the last coming in 2002, hit eight birdies in his bid to take the $1 million prize.

India's Gaganjeet Bhullar lies in fourth place thanks to his 66 while Swede Daniel Chopra hit 67 after a round including five consecutive birdies.

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel made 68 for a share of fifth place with Sergio Garcia, Singaporean Mardan Mamat and India's Sujjan Singh. World No. 3 Henrik Stenson had to settle for a 70, along with 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson and his fellow American Rickie Fowler.

"It was nice to shoot a good score on a good day," said Cejka. "Last week I played a little bit better [finishing tied 12th in Hong Kong], and so far the form continues. We've got three more days to go. I feel good. Nothing's easy. It's a great field and it's a challenging course where you can shoot five-under but you can also shoot six-over here if you don't drive it well or if you're a little bit unlucky.

"You've got to keep grinding. I cannot sit back and just play for pars. I've got to just play the same golf I've been playing, and hopefully I make a couple putts or I don't make stupid mistakes. It's a long way to go and again, there're a lot of great players in the field."

Rose had made seven birdies in the morning before Cejka's stunning round upstaged his efforts.

"It was an early alarm call this morning at 4.30. I didn't enjoy that part but once I got out here to the golf course it was a perfect morning for golf, and the type of morning you wanted to capitalise on," said Rose.

"I feel like I'm reading the greens well. The greens are rolling true. I feel like I've got a good eye, good read for the greens, so that helps. Obviously, I got off to a great start. Who knows what the winning score will be, but you've just got to play one shot at a time, one hole at a time.

"My putting felt very sharp, especially for the first 12 or 13 holes. But also, you have to stay out of the rough. If you do hit the driver poorly, you are going to struggle."

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