ADT: Lewton takes early honours at Ballantine's Taiwan Championship

Thu 08 Aug 2013

ADT: Lewton takes early honours at Ballantine's Taiwan Championship

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Chinese Taipei, August 8: England’s Steve Lewton fired an opening seven-under-par 65 to snatch the first round lead at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship on Thursday.
The 30-year-old began his campaign strongly by marking his card with eight birdies against one bogey to take a healthy three-shot lead over Canadian Lindsay Renolds at the US$110,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Shaun Malone of England returned with a 69 to stay one shot back of Renolds while another 10 players, including veteran Wang Ter-chang and former Malaysian Open winner Yeh Wei-tze, recorded matching 70s for a share of fourth place at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club.
Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang, winner of six Asian Tour tournaments, opened with a 71 to tie at 14th while compatriot Lu Wei-chih, playing in his first tournament after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour a year ago, carded a 72 which included a triple bogey on the ninth hole.
Only 18 players out of 144 managed to finish under par in the first round of the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship which is the richest ADT tournament on the schedule.
Lewton was delighted with his game following a rough season since coming through the Qualifying School in Thailand earlier this year.
“I’m very pleased with how I played. I think I played really nicely and I didn’t make any mistakes. In fact, I’ve been doing quite well for the past one month or so. I hope to keep that up,” said Lewton, who regained his Asian Tour card after finishing tied sixth at the Qualifying School.
“There have been a couple of ups and downs this season but I’m glad to be back on track again. Hopefully, I’m on my way up. I’m looking forward to the next round tomorrow,” added the tall Englishman.
Renolds, who is currently third on the ADT Order of Merit, hopes to extend his recent good run of form.
“I think I played really well. I tried to stay patient. It’s a beautiful course although conditions were kind of tough out there. It got really windy when I was approaching the last few holes. I will have to try and stay out of trouble and be patient if I want to play well this week,” said Renolds, who has finished top-10 in the last three tournaments on the ADT, which is a feeder circuit to the premier Asian Tour.
“The recent top 10 finishes have given me a lot of confidence in my game but I am not as happy with my game today as I was for the last few weeks. I think it could be the fatigue from all the travelling. I’ll try to get some rest and hopefully play better tomorrow,” added the Canadian, who mixed his card with one eagle, five birdies and three bogeys.
Malone, on the other hand, is optimistic with his game despite a shaky start.
“I had a shaky start and I was actually quite nervous but overall, I’m happy with how I’ve played today. Conditions are quite tough but it’s one of the best courses I’ve played. I will try to focus on my game and hopefully, play better tomorrow,” said Malone.
China’s Ye jian feng, unfortunately, had to withdraw from the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship due to a wrist injury incurred after hitting a root on the 12th hole.
Title holder Hsieh Chi-hsien carded a 73 to tie for 29th place while current ADT Order of Merit leader American James Bowen posted a 75.
All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points, which will be used to determine the field for the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne in November and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Winners on the ADT will receive a minimum of six world ranking points while the top six players and ties will earn points based on a sliding scale.
A total of 14 tournaments have been confirmed this season, which is a record for the ADT since its inauguration in 2010.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading first round scores:
65 – Steve LEWTON (ENG)
68 – Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN)
69 – Shaun MALONE (ENG)
70 – WANG Ter-chang (TWN), Grant JACKSON (ENG), LIN Kuan-po (TWN), CHO Tsung-lin (TWN), LEE Chieh-po (A) (TWN), Spencer SHISHIDO (USA), YEH Wei-tze (TWN), Peter RICHARDSON (ENG), SUNG Mao-chang (TWN), Daniel BRINGOLF (AUS)
71 – Tommy MANSUWAN (THA), LIN Wen-tang (TWN), WANG Tsung-chieh (TWN), HUNG Chien-yao (TWN), LU Jia-yu (TWN)
Ends.
About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No 2 ultra-premium Scotch whisky in Asia, No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 129 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.
•          Ballantine’s has been title sponsor of the Ballantine’s Championship since 2008
•          Ballantine’s is an official sponsor of the BMW Masters, The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open & The World Cup of Golf
•          The first Ballantine’s sponsored golf tournament was played in 1960 at Wentworth Golf Club, England
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 three 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.