Muhd Afif Muhd Fathi of Selangor shot a fabulous four under par 68 to take the lead in the 100PLUS Malaysian Junior Open 2016 today here at the Templer Park Country Club.
Afif recorded a 34 on either ends of the front and back nine to leave the rest of the field behind as Lim Beng Kiat kept it close with a three under to take second spot.
Beng Keat from Sarawak scored a 69 for the day while compatriot Daeng Abdul Rahman occupies third with two under par 70, alongside Louis Tee of Singapore.
Daeng, the gold medallist at the recent SUKMA in Sarawak, is turning out for MGA (Malaysia Golf Association) this time round.
“My putting saved me on the day. The green here is very fast and I struggled a little bit at the tenth hole,” said Muhd Afif afterwards.
“It really does not matter whether I was in the lead or otherwise. The plan was just to look at playing well and do the best consistent shot that I possibly can. The result will come if I can do just that.
“For tomorrow, I’m looking at improving my putting for sure.”
Four other players share the fourth spot in the standings after the first day with par 72 off MGA’s Galven Kendall Green and Khavish Varman Varadan.
The other two are Tommy Tan from Singapura and Rio Wong Lei Yoong from Kuala Lumpur.
The challenge for the women’s division saw Qistina Balqis Azhar from MGA completing her round on the first day with one under 71.
The Johor born lass is three strokes ahead of team-mate Nur Syazani Amalia Shahzan, who came in second after carding a two over 74 in her round.
“I did not play as well as I should at the first nine. My putting was very poor. But I improved in the back nine and that was what probably saved the day for me,” said Qistina Balqis, who had grabbed the silver medal at the SUKMA in Sarawak last month.
“But the truth is that I did not expect to be in the lead after the first day. I was just focusing on each hole as it comes. I have to improve tomorrow especially on my putting to be better.”
Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser of Selangor, Aykary Wynn Htun of Myanmar and Ange Hii from Sarawak share third spot with six over 78 heading into the second day of intense competition tomorrow.
LEADING FIRST ROUND SCORES
68 Muhammad Afif Muhd Fathi
69 Lim Beng Keat
70 Louis Tee
70 DAeng Abdul Rahman
71 Benjamin Yeap
72 Khavish Verman Varadan
72 Tommy Tan
72 Galven Kendall Green
72 Rio Wong Lei Yoong
73 Muhammad Iqbal Saharudin
71 Qistina Balqis Azhar
74 Nur Syazani Amalia Shahzan
78 Aykary Wynn Htun
78 Angel Hii
78 Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser
79 Liyana Durisic
80 Megan Lee Zehui
81 Vinisha Gunaseelan
81 Sonya Akther
82 Rubanyah Sedopathy