Wen Chen-Hsiang

A calm approach paid off for local hope Albright Chong Ming Soon as he trails by two strokes after the opening round of the 115th edition of the Malaysian Amateur Open on Thursday.

Fresh from winning the Sabah Amateur Open three weeks ago, the 20-year-old Sabahan was in an inspired mood as he traded four birdies with as many bogeys to return with an even-par 71 to take a share of sixth placing alongside India Yashas Chandra and last year’s runner-up Witchayanon Chothirungnrungrueng of Thailand.

At the top of the leaderboard is Wen Chen-Hsiang of Chinese Taipei, who carded a brilliant two-under 69 to lead by a single stroke from Singapore’s Joshua Ho, South Korean Dong Hun Jung as well as the Thai pair of Sadom Kaewkanjana and Sangchai Kaewcharoen.

Australia’s Lachlan Barker shot a round of six-over 77 to get his title defence off to a rough start at the Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai.

With the greens playing firm and the winds from the South China Sea proving a real challenge, Chong birdied all three of the par-fives and credited a patient gameplan to his solid opening effort. 

“I’m happy with the start. I didn’t play aggressively and picked the pins which I could attack and naturally, I gave myself a good look on the par-fives. Had a few errant shots that brought about the bogeys but other that than, I kept to my plan at the start of the round,” said the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) undergraduate.

The 2012 Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) gold medallist noted that his recent win has reinvigorated his confidence to compete against a top regional field gathered here this week.

“It’s always good to come into major championship with a title in the bag and my win at Keningau at the end of April was a real confidence booster. I had geared my schedule with the aim of doing well at the Sabah Amateur Open and the Malaysian Amateur Open and I’m pleased with the outcome so far. 

Conducted by the Malaysian Golf Association and the Sabah Golf Association, the 115th edition of the Malaysian Amateur Open is supported by the Sabah State Government, National Sports Council, Jebsen & Jessen, Kurnia Insurance, Letz Travel, CrestLink, Srixon Sports Asia, Titoni, Titleist, 100Plus and the Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai and Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai.


Leading first round results (Par-71)

Malaysian unless stated

69 – Wen Chen-Hsiang (TPE)

70 – Sadom Kaekanjana (THA), Sangchai Kaewcharoen (THA), Joshua Ho (SIN), Dong Hun Jung (KOR)

71 – Yashas Chandran (IND), Albright Chong, Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng (THA)

72 – Ruperto Zaragosa III (PHI), Anthony T. Doss (USA), Kosuke Hamamoto (THA), Lucius Toh (SIN), Kevin Caesario Akbar (INA)

73 – Marc Ong (SIN), Sun-Yi Lu (TPE), Sajawat Sriprasit (THA), Yi-Tong Chen (TPE) 

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