ADT: Three-way tie for lead in Johor

Wed 21 May 2014

ADT: Three-way tie for lead in Johor

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Johor Bahru, Malaysia, May 22: Malaysia’s Danny Chia continued his good run of form to share the opening round lead with compatriot Iylia Jamil and Lam Chih-bing of Singapore on five-under-par 67 at the PGM Johor Championship on Thursday.
The first round was abandoned at 3.30pm on Wednesday due to inclement weather. A total of 66 players returned at 7.30am on Thursday to complete their rounds.
A total of six players including reigning Order of Merit champion Nicholas Fung, American Brett Munson and Guy Woodman of England shared second place on matching 68s at the Johor Golf and Country Club.
Order of Merit leader Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Malaysia’s Mohd Zain, who returned on Thursday morning to complete their opening rounds, signed for identical 67s for a share of 10th place with Australia’s Darren Tan, Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Senroku Isa of Japan at the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) event.
Chia, who successfully defended his title for a second ADT victory at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship a fortnight ago, set the early pace with a flawless round highlighted by five birdies.
“I used to play here a lot in the past but I haven’t been here for a while. The greens are tricky but the roughs are not as thick as it used to be so it’s slightly easier,” said Chia, who finished tied 33rd at the ICTSI Philippine Open on the Asian Tour last week.
Chia, the first Malaysian to win on the Asian Tour in 2002, underwent surgery for a career-threatening shoulder injury last September and is still in the process of recovery.
“My game has been good and I feel my strength is coming back slowly but after this week, I will have to return to my rehabilitation. I’m supposed to go for rehabilitation every day but I haven’t done so for the past three weeks.
“My main priority this year is to recover fully from my shoulder injury so I will take some time off to rest after this week,” explained the 41-year-old Malaysian.
Malaysia’s Iylia also returned with a bogey-free round after taking advantage of his familiarity with the course.
“I have been playing here since I was 14 years old and I finished third in a local event here back in 2011. I’m quite familiar with the course. Everything went well for me so hopefully I can stay consistent throughout the week,” said the 23-year-old, whose best result on the ADT was tied-seventh at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Masters last season.
Rizal, who traded six birdies against a double-bogey, believes that patience is the key to success this week.
“I played really well on my back nine even though I double-bogeyed the 15th. I managed to recover with two straight birdies right after that. It wasn’t easy. The weather was hot in the morning. I just have to stay patient and continue to stick to my own game plan for the next few rounds,” said Rizal.
Working in close partnership with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour, a total of 12 PGM events will feature on this season’s ADT Schedule, giving Malaysian players a big incentive in chasing for a place on the region’s main Tour.
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
67 – Danny Chia (MAS), Mohd Iylia JAMIL (MAS), LAM Chih-bing (SIN)
68 – Rizal AMIN (MAS), Guy WOODMAN (ENG), Nicholas FUNG (MAS), Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Brett MUNSON (USA), Konosuke NAKAZATO (JPN)
69 – Darren TAN (AUS), Senroku ISA (JPN), Mardan MAMAT (SIN), CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Mohd Nazri MOHD ZAIN (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.