As LIV golfers like Cameron Smith and Phil Mickelson miss cut, this 15-year-old is T-6 at PIF Saudi International chasing Abraham Ancer

Golf is a strange game.

At the PIF Saudi International, an Asian Tour event that’s littered with LIV Golf players and a couple from the PGA Tour, it’s a 15-year-old who’s stealing the show near the top of the leaderboard.

Ratchanon Chantananuwat, from Thailand and ranked 16th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is 7 under and four shots off the lead heading to the weekend at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia. Abraham Ancer paces the field for the second straight day, and Cameron Young, the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year for 2021-22, is a shot behind.

“I think one of the reasons I played really well today was — the past two days was I had no expectations,” Chantananuwat said, “and not looking at the leaderboard, and ironically as soon as I started looking at the leaderboard on 8 and when the cameras came, that’s when I started not being as sharp. I think I’m just going to try and shut myself off tomorrow, Sunday, as well, keep my head down.”

2023 PIF Saudi International
2023 PIF Saudi International

Ratchanon Chantananuwat of Thailand tees off from the 5th hole during Day Two of the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on February 03, 2023 in Al Murooj, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Cameron Smith (2 over), ranked third in the Official World Golf Ranking, is heading home after missing the cut (even), along with other LIV golfers Phil Mickelson (1 over), Bryson DeChambeau (7 over) and Bubba Watson (2 over).

However, Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen are in a tie for third at 8 under, along with Sadom Kaewkanjana, chasing Ancer, who shot 66 on Friday after opening with a 7-under 63.

Young has fired consecutive 5-under 65s to begin.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek