American Greg Moss marked his best round on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and broke his personal 18-hole record after producing a magnificent 10-under-par 62 at the US$150,000 Charming Yeangder ADT on Thursday.
The slightly-built Moss, who is also a competitive eater, returned with a flawless round highlighted by one eagle and eight birdies to lead by four shots over Australian Paul Donahoo at the US$150,000 event, which is the burgeoning Tour’s first stop in Chinese Taipei this season.
Australian Jordan Sherratt stayed one shot back in third place with American Shane Smith while local hopefuls Chan Yih-shin, Lee Chieh-po and Yang Fei-hao were bunched in fifth place on 68 at the scenic National Garden Golf and Country Club.
Local sensation Chan Shih-chang, who capped three ADT victories to finish second on the Order of Merit last season, signed for a 70 while Order of Merit leader Arie Irawan of Malaysia carded a 73 to sit in tied-61st place.
Moss, who has won a total of 15 titles in his eating career, surprised even himself after capping a solid round.
“I’ve no idea how I did it. I was just laughing out there. I think I blacked out somewhere on the back nine. I hit a couple of shots close and I made some putts but I wasn’t expecting such a low score. I just kept the momentum going out there. It was pretty bizarre,” said the 28-year-old American.
“This is an event which everyone is looking forward to play. I’m happy to give myself some cushion heading into the next three rounds. I didn’t give myself any pressure out there and I guess that’s why I was able to play well,” added Moss.
Moss’s solid opening round lifted his hopes of turning his career around as he now takes aim at a maiden ADT win this week.
“I’ve played on this course three years back and I didn’t finish off well. I would like to think that I’m a different player now compared to the last time I played here, especially after shooting 62 today. I’m looking forward to the next three rounds,” Moss said.
Donahoo, who is playing in only his second tournament on the ADT, credited his mental game and hot putter for a creditable round.
“It was a pretty good round and I was feeling really relaxed out there which helped. I wasn’t thinking too much and I just played shot by shot. It was a relaxed and easy round,” said the 33-year-old Donahoo, who birdied all the par-fives and amassed only 28 putts.
“I like this course. It reminds me a lot of the golf courses back home in Brisbane. If you hit your driver well, there are a lot of wedges in hand. Your short game has to be sharp to score out there. I had a lot of opportunities to putt from six to 12 feet and when you get chances like these, you feel pretty confident,” added Donahoo, who fired seven birdies against a lone bogey.
Local hope Lee was pleased to put up a noteworthy debut performance in what was his first professional event since joining the play-for-pay ranks in January.
“I’ve been playing well. My game has been good since I earned my Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School earlier this year. I’m not giving myself any pressure. I just want to go out and enjoy the game. It’s a good start for me today. Process is what matters more so I will not focus on the results for now,” said the 20-year-old.
The winner of the Charming Yeangder ADT will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$26,250 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.
Leading first round scores:
62 – Greg MOSS (USA)
66 – Paul DONAHOO (AUS)
67 – Jordan SHERRATT (AUS), Shane SMITH (USA)
68 – CHAN Yih-shin (TPE), Unho PARK (AUS), LEE Chieh-po (TPE), YANG Fei-hao (TPE), Josh SALAH (USA), Casey O’TOOLE (USA)
69 – TSAI Ming-feng (TPE), Christopher CANNON (ENG), Gavin FLINT (AUS), KAO Teng (TPE), Nattapong PUTTA (THA)
70 – Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN), Sam CYR (USA), HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE), Fumihiro EBINE (JPN), Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE), CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), KIM Leun-kwang (MAS), Paul HARRIS (USA), LIN Chien-bing (TPE), Teemu PUTKONEN (FIN), LEE Wei-lin (TPE)