"ADT: Arie, Kaske and Que in leaderboard logjam at Aboitiz Invitational"

Wed 05 Aug 2015

"ADT: Arie, Kaske and Que in leaderboard logjam at Aboitiz Invitational"

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Manila, August 5: Malaysia’s Arie Irawan, Janne Kaske of Finland and local star Angelo Que were among a record seven players sharing the opening round lead after firing matching five-under-par 66s at the US$100,000 Aboitiz Invitational on Wednesday.
Little known Eugene Sim of Singapore, Thailand’s Pijit Petchkasem, Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden and Japan’s Masaru Takahashi formed the rest of the leading pack at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, Legends course.
A host of eight players, including 2012 ADT Order of Merit champion Jay Bayron of the Philippines, Thailand’s Nirun Sae-Ueng and Australian Mark Leich, trailed by one shot in tied-eighth position at the Aboitiz Invitational.
Defending champion Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines stayed a further shot back in tied-16th position while Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei registered a 74 in what is the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) third stop in the Philippines this season.
Arie, a two-time winner on the ADT, took advantage of the favorable scoring conditions to sign for a bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies, including four straight ones starting from the sixth hole.
“It was a good start. I kept the ball in play and gave myself chances. The wind started picking up a little in the afternoon but I kept the game simple and stayed patient out there. The scores are definitely up for grabs out there. You just have to grab the opportunities,” said the 24-year-old Malaysian, who sits in third place on the Order of Merit.
Placed 11th on the Merit rankings thanks to one victory and three top-10s, Kaske was excited to get off to a good start in his bid for a second victory which will boost his chances of securing his Asian Tour card for 2016.
“It’s my first time here and I like this golf course a lot. The conditions are great and it suits my game. I was able to get it on the greens on most of the holes. My putting got better today compared to the past few weeks which is good,” said the 29-year-old, who traded six birdies against a lone bogey.
“I gave myself a lot of birdie chances, especially on the par-fives. I struggled a bit on the back nine but it was alright. I think the scores will be pretty low this week. The greens are rolling well. I have to keep it up with a couple more low rounds to try and win again,” added Kaske.
Que, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour, banked on his home comforts and leveraged on his home course knowledge for a commendable display.
Despite stumbling with an opening bogey on the 10th, Que kept his cool and recovered with two straights birdies on the 15th and 16th where he rammed in a 30-foot putt. He went on to pick up four more birdies on the second, fifth, seventh and ninth holes.
“I hit the ball good and I putted well. I feel very comfortable because I am playing on my home course. I kept hitting it close today. It is a short course and the greens are soft. You can make a lot of birdies out there,” said the 36-year-old Filipino.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. A record total of 24 tournaments has been confirmed for the 2015 season with a couple more to be announced in due course.
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:
66 – Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN), Eugene SIM (SIN), Janne KASKE (FIN), Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA), Angelo QUE (PHI), Arie IRAWAN (MAS), Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE)
67 – Anthony FERNANDO (PHI), Tonton ASISTIO (PHI), Sejun YOON (USA), Clyde MONDILLA (PHI), Mark LEICH (AUS), Jay BAYRON (PHI), Leon ANG (SIN), Nirun SAE-UENG (THA)
68 – Art ARBOLE (PHI), Jake STIRLING (AUS), CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Orlan SUMCAD (PHI), Joenard RATES (PHI), Jobim CARLOS (A) (PHI), Robert PACTOLERIN (PHI)
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.