ADT: Hashizume grabs clubhouse lead

Wed 07 May 2014

ADT: Hashizume grabs clubhouse lead

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Kuala Lumpur, May 7: Mitsuhiko Hashizume of Japan opened with a flawless six-under-par 66 to take the clubhouse lead at the weather-disrupted PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship on Wednesday.
Local talent Arie Irawan, Thai duo Sattaya Supupramai and Piya Swangarunporn signed for matching 68s to share second place while India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Australian Darren Tan and ADT Order of Merit champions Nicholas Fung and S. Siva Chandhran of Malaysia, were a further shot back on 69.
The first round of the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event was suspended at 3.15pm local time due to inclement weather before resuming two hours later. Play was forced to be suspended again at 7.15pm due to fading light.
A total of 35 players will return to the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, Garden course, at 7.30am on Thursday to complete their opening rounds.
Hashizume, who claimed his maiden ADT win in Malaysia last April, fired six birdies to march to the top of the leaderboard as he aims for a second ADT title.
“My putting is good. It’s a nice course with narrow fairways and hard greens. It’s pretty difficult but I will try and do my best for the next three rounds. Hopefully I can claim my second win this week,” said Hashizume.
The 23-year-old Arie rode on a hot putter on a golf course where he used to play since his junior days. The Malaysian shot seven birdies against three bogeys to stay in the hunt for a first ADT victory.
“My putting was really good. It was a good start for me. I just have to keep the momentum going. I’ve been playing here since my junior days so I’m pretty comfortable playing on this course,” said Arie.
Sattaya, who nailed his breakthrough win on the ADT in the Philippines last August, was delighted to see improvements in his game after working with his new swing coach, ‘Boy’.
“I’m feeling better about my game now, after starting to train with my new swing coach back home in Thailand three weeks ago. This is not an easy golf course. You can’t afford to miss the greens. The weather was really hot in the morning. I’m very happy that I managed to shoot a 68 today,” said Sattaya.
EurAsia cup star Fung, who is playing in his fifth consecutive event this week, battled through fatigue to return with a 69 without playing a practice round.
“I didn’t have any practice round. I’ve been playing a lot lately and I’m tired. I’m struggling with a stiff neck too. I missed a lot of short putts today. I need to get more rest,” said a weary Fung.
Fung, currently ranked 259th in the world, won the 2013 ADT Order of Merit crown courtesy of one victory and three second place finishes. He subsequently rose in stature with several top finishes on the Asian Tour at the end of 2013 to secure his full playing rights.
Current Order of Merit leader Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, who won his second ADT title in Langkawi a fortnight ago, signed for an opening round of 71 to tie for 17while defending champion, Danny Chia of Malaysia was one shot back on 72.
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.
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
66 – Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN)
68 – Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA), Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA), Arie IRAWAN (MAS)
69 – Nicholas FUNG (MAS), S. Siva Chandhran (MAS), Shubhankar SHARMA (IND), Darren TAN (AUS)
70 – Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA), R. Nachimuthu (MAS), Suppakorn UTHAIPAT (THA), Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA), Sukree OTHMAN (MAS), Casey O’TOOLE (USA), LIN Kuan-po (TPE), CHOO Tze Huang (SIN)
71 – CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), Peter RICHARDSON (ENG), Shaun MALONE (ENG), Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA), Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA)
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.