ADT: Pucay snatches one-shot lead

Wed 04 Nov 2015

ADT: Pucay snatches one-shot lead

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Malacca, Malaysia, November 4: Filipino Mars Pucay continued his rich vein of form by firing an opening six-under-par 66 to lead by one shot at the PGM Tiara Championship on Wednesday.
The 45-year-old Pucay, who claimed a runner-up finish on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) a fortnight ago, hit all but one green in regulation which yielded seven birdies against a lone bogey at the Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club.
Order of Merit leader Casey O’Toole marked his card with two eagles and four birdies against three bogeys to settle one shot back in second place while Andrew Wirawan of Indonesia took third following a 68 at the RM200,000 (approx. US$50,000) ADT event.
Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat, together with local duo Airil Rizman and Kenneth De Silva carded matching 69s to share fourth place while Finland’s Janne Kaske trailed by four shots in seventh place on his own at the PGM Tiara Championship.
Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-hsien, placed second on the current Order of Merit, returned with a 71 to grab a share of eighth place in the event, which is the 25th leg of the ADT schedule this season.
Pucay credited his booming drives for the blistering start. “My ball striking was really good and I was able to capitalize on that. Everything went well for me. I putted decently and made a few up-and-downs. I was just riding on the momentum out there,” he said.
The Filipino got off to a flying start with three birdies in his opening five holes but three-putted for a bogey on eighth. He recovered with another birdie on 12th before closing with three straight birdies to sit atop the leaderboard.
“I started off well. I sank a 30-foot birdie putt on third which really got my game going. The runner-up finish in Malaysia two weeks ago gave me a lot of confidence. I struggled with my game earlier. It’s great to be back in good form again. Hopefully I can maintain it for the next few rounds,” added Pucay.
With only three events left to play this season, players will have all to play for as they vie to finish inside top-five on the Order of Merit at the end of the season to secure their playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2016.
The winner of the PGM Tiara Championship will take home US$8,371 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
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 OWGR points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
The ADT is celebrating its sixth season where it has grown immensely from five events in the first year in 2010 to a record 27 tournaments in 2015.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores:
66 – Mars PUCAY (PHI)
67 – Casey O’TOOLE (USA)
68 – Andrew WIRAWAN (INA)
69 – Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS), Wisut ARTJANAWAT (THA), Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS)
70 – Janne KASKE (FIN)
71 – Supravee PHATAM (THA), Arie IRAWAN (MAS), Sean RIORDAN (NZL), Reagan PNG (SIN), Rocky KHARA (USA), Shakhawat SOHEL (BAN), HSIEH Chi-hsien (TWN), LIM Eng Seng (MAS), Nicholas FUNG (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.