Kiradech Aphibarnrat has played the Mexico Open's fifth hole in a staggeringly low 3-day total
Kiradech Aphibarnrat has quite the love affair with Vidanta Vallarta’s par-3 fifth hole at the Mexico Open. The 32-year-old from Thailand has played it in five shots total in three days. Five. Perhaps even more bizarre is that only one of those five strokes was a putt.
On Thursday, Aphibarnrat started shaky in Round 1 with a double bogey, bogey start. He was three over early when he stepped on the fifth tee, looking at a shot from 189 yards. Minutes later he holed the shot for an ace, one he says was his first in a tournament and first since his junior golf days some 15 years ago.
Aphibarnrat, ranked No. 237 in the Official World Golf Ranking, was playing well on Friday during the second round, making three birdies before arriving on the fifth hole, his 14th hole of the day. His tee shot came up short of the green, leaving him a 75-foot chip shot. Aphibarnrat chipped in for birdie, then birdied the next two holes and closed with a five-under 66.
Finally, during Saturday’s third round, Aphibarnrat had made four straight pars to start and stood on the fifth tee, playing 217 yards. He hit his iron shot to 18 feet and, yes, made the putt for birdie.
So, in three days, on the par-3 fifth hole, Aphibarnrat has gone 1-2-2. That's four under par on that hole alone.
This had been Aphibarnrat’s best performance so far this year. In seven events he’s missed three cuts and his best finish is a 28th-place tie at the Puerto Rico Open. He was hovering just inside the top-20 for most of the third round until late hiccups with a bogey on 15 and a double bogey on 16. He birdied the last hole to shoot 71 and sits at six-under-par total, well off the lead.