Local hope Lion Goh celebrated his country’s Malaysia Day by carding an opening five-under-par 67 to share the first round lead with compatriot Danny Chia, Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat and Australia’s Jordan Sherratt at the PGM Bukit Jawi Championship on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s Hamza Amin enjoyed his return to the Asian Development Tour (ADT) by posting a 68 to grab a share of fifth place with seven other players at the RM200,000 (approximately US$50,000) ADT event which is staged at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort this week.
On a day of national celebration for Malaysia, Goh also had his own festivities by sitting atop the leaderboard after a promising start.
The 23-year-old has only made the cut thrice in 13 previous starts on the ADT and was clearly elated with his early charge.
“This is one of the rare occasions when I find myself at the top of the leaderboard. Of course, I’m very happy as it shows that my game is heading in the right direction. I executed my game plan perfectly and was spot on with my putting,” said Goh.
The Malaysian traded three birdies against one bogey in his opening four holes and surged further ahead with more birdies on holes six and nine.
While Goh could only mark his inward-nine with a 35, it was still enough for him to head into the next three rounds, brimming with confidence.
“There’s still lots of work to be done over the next three days but today’s performance has definitely given me the confidence of doing better,” said Goh.
Meanwhile Hamza is looking forward to another exciting week at the PGM Bukit Jawi Championship.
Playing in only his second ADT event this season, the Pakistani is hoping to better his previous result of a tied-16th finish he secured at Sungai Petani in January.
“It’s feels great to be back in Malaysia and playing on the ADT. I didn’t make much mistakes today and hit very irons really well. The greens are good and the golf course in excellent conditions. I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s now down to me to play my best golf this week,” said Hamza.
The ADT will continue to 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.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores
67- Lion GOH (MAS), Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA), Danny CHIA (MAS), Jordan SHERRATT (AUS)
68- Hamza AMIN (PAK), Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA), Poom SAKSANSIN (THA), Casey O’TOOLE (USA), Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW, Sean RIORDAN (NZL),Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA), Josh SALAH (USA)
69- KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS), Paul HARRIS (USA), Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN), Pasamet POGAMNERD (THA), Rory HIE (INA), Mohd Iylia JAMIL (MAS)