ADT: Harris takes charge in Malaysia

Wed 12 Mar 2014

ADT: Harris takes charge in Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 12: American Paul Harris got off to a hot start when he fired a five-under-par 67 to take the opening round lead at the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship on Wednesday.
Harris returned with a flawless round highlighted by five birdies to take a one-shot lead over Australian Daniel Bringolf, Lam Zhiqun of Singapore and ADT champions Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand and Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume, who shared second place on matching 68s at the Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia.
Local hope Anis Hassan and Khor Kheng Hwai led the home charge with identical 69s to tie in sixth place with Thailand’s Suppakorn Uthaipai, Japan’s Senroku Isa and American Greg Moss, at the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) ADT event.
The 23-year-old Harris, who finished tied-17th at the ADT season-opening event in Malaysia two weeks ago, said: “I had a good start today which kept my momentum going. It is not an easy course but my form was good today. Hopefully I can stay consistent in the next few rounds.”
Playing in only his second ADT event since making his debut last month, Harris hailed the burgeoning Tour as a great platform for aspiring golfers to play their way back to the main Asian Tour.
“Iain Steel (of Malaysia) has been encouraging me to come out and play here. I thought I can give it a shot! I’m glad it’s been enjoyable for me so far. I like playing in this part of the world. It’s great that the ADT offers Official World Golf Ranking points as well. My main focus for this season is to play well on the ADT,” said Harris.
Steel regained his playing status on the 2014 Asian Tour after finishing in top three on the final ADT Order of Merit in 2013. This year, the leading top five players on the merit rankings at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2015.
Pavit, who claimed his maiden win on the ADT at the 2013 season-ending event in Jakarta in January, is delighted to reproduce some good form again.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I think my game is getting better. This is a challenging course but my ball striking was good today. Hopefully I can keep up with my good form tomorrow,” said the talented 24-year-old.
Despite missing out on his Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School last month, Pavit remained optimistic that he can still strengthen his game by gaining more playing experience on the ADT.
“It’s really a pity for missing the Asian Tour card but I thought I played well that week so I’m not disappointed. Right now, I want to gain more experience on the ADT and try to secure my second win!” added Pavit.
The winner of the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship will take home a prize purse of US$10,500 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points. The top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
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 proved to be a successful platform for upcoming players to gain entry into the region’s premier Tour.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Photo: Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand
Leading first round scores:
67 – Paul HARRIS (USA)
68 – Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Daniel BRINGOLF (AUS), LAM Zhiqun (SIN), Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN)
69 – Suppakorn UTHAIPAT (THA), Senroku ISA (JPN), KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS), Greg MOSS (USA), Anis HASSAN (MAS)
70 – David ROSE (CAN), Konosuke NAKAZATO (JPN), Arie IRAWAN (MAS), Brett MUNSON (USA), Yuzo ICHIKAWA (JPN), Tenka TERADA (JPN), Mohd Iylia JAMIL (MAS), Ben LEONG (MAS)
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.