The home nation enjoyed a strong presence at the top of the leaderboard on the opening day of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Northport Glenmarie Championship at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Shah Alam today but it was Indonesia’s Jordan Irawan and Smithti Teeratrakul of Thailand who took the lead.
Three of the four players tied for the third – Gavin Green, Sukree Othman and Nicholas Fung – did Malaysia proud as they matched Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert five-under-par 67 in the RM200,000 tournament, co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour, and one that carries world ranking points.
Irawan shot an impressive 66 that had a mix of an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys, while Smithti also had an eagle on his card, as well as five birdies and a bogey, which gave them a one-stroke lead.
For Green, who only recently turned pro, is was matter of using his long length off the tee to his advantage and popping the ball close to the pins. “This course is set-up tough,” he said, “so my plan is to use my length to my advantage and it worked out well today.
“The other important thing is to hit it straight and I was able to do that today. Keeping the ball in play off the tee meant that I could try and knock my approach shots close to the flag.
In contrast, Sukree’s round was blemish-free. Starting on the 10th hole the multiple Tour winner registered a birdie at his first attempt. He then strung together birdies at the 13th and 14th before adding another two at the 16th and 17th holes.
Fung’s round was also bogey-free. He had a birdie at the 1st hole, added another at 3rd before rounding off the outward nine with yet another birdie at 7th hole. On the homeward stretch he birdied the 11th and 12th holes, before keeping the next six holes at par.
Leading First Round Scores
66 Jordan Irawan (Ina), Smithti Teeratrakul (Tha)
67 Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha), Gavin Kyle Green (Mas), Sukree Othman (Mas), Nicholas Fung (Mas)
68 Danny Masrin (Ina)
69 Thammanoon Sriroj (Tha), Airil Rizman Zahari (Mas), Sean Riordan (NZl), Mitchell Slorach (Sin), Sejun Yoon (US), Arie Irawan (Mas)