ADT: Nachi nails 64 to lead in Malaysia

Wed 08 Apr 2015

ADT: Nachi nails 64 to lead in Malaysia

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Johor Bahru, Malaysia, April 8: Malaysian R. Nachimuthu produced a majestic eight-under-par 64 to grab a one-shot lead from countryman Shaaban Hussin in the first round of the PGM Johor Championship on Wednesday.
Straight-hitting Nachimuthu nailed eight birdies in an unblemished round at the Johor Golf and Country Club, thanks largely to him finding 17 greens in regulation at the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) Asian Development Tour event.
Shaaban snared an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys to spearhead the chasing pack with his 65 while current ADT Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, who was victorious on home soil two weeks ago, American Greg Moss, Nicholas Fung and S. Murthy of Malaysia are a further stroke back.
“I just hit it solid,” said Nachimuthu, a former number one on the local Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour. “Being bogey free is always nice on this course. If I putt well, I can always score as my ball striking is normally not a problem.”
Starting his day from the 10th tee, Nachimuthu turned in 31, rolling in a tricky 15-foot downhill birdie putt on 18 which provided the highlight of his round.
“It was a difficult putt, I didn’t expect that one to go in as I was just trying to park it. The other birdies were pretty much from close range, inside of 10 feet,” he said.
“I’m familiar with this course. You have to keep it on the fairway which is very much my game. This is probably my best round on the ADT and I will keep to my game plan, which is to hit fairways and greens. If I decide on driver on a hole, I will stick to the plan. It’s always good to have a clear mind when you play.”
Shaaban was delighted with his fast start, which included an eagle on the par five 11th hole.  “I’ve been on fire since I shot a 62 in the final round of another tournament last week,” said the slender Malaysian, who has registered two top-10s on the ADT this season.
“I played really well again and I’m hitting the irons really good ... hitting them close. I did miss a few putts, probably some six chances from about eight feet. If I can putt better, the score would be lower.”
Shaaban found joy with a seven-foot eagle conversion at his second hole of the day on 11where he nailed a four hybrid approach from 210 yards to near perfection. He then made four birdies in a row from the 14th hole to turn in 30.
“I hit it really high and good and the ball stopped close to the pin for my eagle. I played easy golf again, just hitting a lot of greens and whenever I made a putt, the ball went in,” he said.
The winner of the PGM Johor Championship will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$9,436 and earn six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region can earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning OWGR points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores
64: R. Nachimuthu (Mas)
65: Shaaban HUSSIN (Mas)
66: HSIEH Chi-hsien (Tpe) , S. Murthy  (Mas), Nicholas FUNG (Mas), Greg MOSS (USA)
67: Casey O'TOOLE (USA), Blake SNYDER (USA), LAM Chih Bing (Sin)
68: Michael TRAN (Vie), Wilson CHOO (Mas), Ichiro SUZUKI  (Jpn – am)
69: Oskar ARVIDSSON (Swe)
70: Tyler EKENBERG (USA), Arwed FISCHER (Ger), Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (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.