Thailand’s Suttinon Panyo carded a splendid five-under 67 to take the lead after the first round of the Toyota Tour Championship by one stroke at the Saujana Golf & Country Club here today.
Lying second are six players bunched at four-under including in-form Malaysians Galven Green and Daeng Abdul Rahman, winners of the last two events on the domestic Toyota Tour. They both shot four-under 68s but felt they could have gone lower.
Backed by good weather and benign greens, Suttinon, 20 who is ranked ninth in Thailand, bagged seven birdies against two bogeys and is looking towards a good run here in order to jump into the top 10 of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit, where he is currently ranked 35th.
“I love this course. The condition is excellent and it’s set up so well for my game as I like to hit fades off the tee,” said Suttinon who hails from Chiang Mai.
“My overall game was good but I could have sank more putss.” Suttinon, joint 10th in last week’s Selangor Masters, said he will compete in the final ADT event – the Aramco Saudi Invitational in two weeks if he wins here.
“If I don’t win, then I’d rather participate in two or three events on my home tour and then prepare for the Asian Tour first stage of qualifying school,” he added. The top 10 on the ADT OOM after the Saudi event will earn cards into the Asian Tour.
Galven who won the Alphard Cup last month, was visibly happy with his game which was bogey-free today. “I’m hitting the ball well from tee to green, but I left a few putts out there. It’s still early days but we’ll see how it goes.”
Daeng was sitting at five-under going into the par five last hole. “I messed up my third shot which ended up way left of the green and couldn’t get up and down. Otherwise, I’m playing solid and my game seems to have improved after winning the Camry Cup at Forest City last month.”
A further stroke back in joint 8th position are Kemarol Baharin of Malaysia, Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden and Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng of Thailand. Current ADT OOM leader
Deyen Lawson shot a two-under 70 while Selangor Masters winner Ho Yu-Cheng ended up with a 71 and is in joint 19th.
The Selangor Masters and Toyota Tour Championship are co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour and Toyota Tour, the latter which is organised by the Professional Golf Malaysia and delivered by the MSTGolf Group.
Golf fans at Saujana will be able to enjoy a “mini fan zone” experience as Puma are promoting its latest line of golf shoes and while TaylorMade are organising chipping and putting competitions on the practice green.
There is no admission fee to watch the Toyota Tour Championship. Spectators will also be treated to complimentary merchandise items.
Leading scores (Rd 1)
67 Suttinon Panyo
68 Daeng Abdul Rahman, Galven Green, Gordon Brixi, Michele Ortolani, Khalin Joshi, Witchayapat Sinsrang
69 Kemarol Baharin, Oscar Zetterwall, Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng
70 Khor Kheng Hwai, Joe Heraty, Shinichi Mizuno, Sarun Sirithon, Naoki Sekito, Deyen Lawson, Pattaraphol Khanthacha, Aaron Wilkin