ADT: Floren and Jackson set early pace

Wed 28 May 2014

ADT: Floren and Jackson set early pace

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Manila, May 28: Sweden’s Nils Floren and England’s Grant Jackson set the early pace by taking the first round lead with matching three-under-par 68s at the inaugural US$60,000 ICTSI Riviera Classic on Wednesday.
Malaysia’s Arie Irawan also got off to an encouraging start with a 69 to grab a share of third place with Philippines’ Michael Bibat, Albin Engino, Robert Pactolerin and Elmer Salvador at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event which is the first of the two stops in the Philippines.
It was indeed a welcome return to form for Floren who earned his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in 2012 but failed to retain his playing rights for the subsequent seasons.
“I’m very proud of my performance today as I managed to stay focused and achieved what I wanted to do. I kept strictly to my routine and processes and I handled myself pretty well,” said Floren.
Having lost his playing rights on the region’s premier Tour, the Swede decided to switch his attention to the ADT where he has since achieved a small measure of success.
His best result came in Malaysia where he finished third in Langkawi last year and although he is still searching for his first professional victory, Floren believes his breakthrough will come if his opening round performance was anything to go by.
“It’s good to be playing well and I’m hopeful of my chances this week. It’s going to be a long season ahead and my target is to finish top-five at the end of the season,” added the Swede
This season, the ADT will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season.
Like Floren who missed out on his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in 2013 and 2014, Arie admits he is still at that progressive stage in his career where he needs to hone his game before he can savour success.
“It is an encouraging start but I would like to say it’s still work in progress. I’m still learning and grabbing whatever opportunities that come my way,” said the 23-year-old, who turned professional in April last year.
While it is still early days at the ICTSI Riviera Classic, the 2008 Malaysian Amateur Stroke Play Champion hopes he can continue to stay focused on the task ahead.
“Mentally, I was very focused today. You’re better off having a stronger mental game than hitting a bad shot. I’m glad I was able to do that well today and hopefully I can maintain this consistency,” said Arie, who has already enjoyed two top-10s on the ADT this season.
Three players have yet to complete their opening round which was suspended due to fading light.
The ICTSI Riviera Classic is the sixth stop on the burgeoning ADT circuit, inaugurated as a gateway to the Asian Tour in 2010.
The ADT, which was launched in 2010 with five tournaments before growing to eight in 2011, 13 in 2012 and a record 16 in the 2013 season, has established itself as a gateway to the Asian Tour.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading first round scores
68 - Nils Floren (SWE), Grant JACKSON (ENG)
69 - Michael BIBAT (PHI), Albin ENGINO (PHI), Arie IRAWAN (MAL), Robert PACTOLERIN (PHI),
Elmer SALVADOR (PHI)
70 - Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN0, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND), Reynaldo PAGUNSAN (PHI),
Zanie Boy GIALON (PHI)
Ends.
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.