"Fung, Lewton set early pace in Taipei"

Thu 02 Oct 2014

"Fung, Lewton set early pace in Taipei"

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Taipei, October 2: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung put up a noteworthy debut performance by carding a two-under-par 70 to share the clubhouse lead with Steve Lewton of England at the US$650,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Thursday.
Fung traded four birdies against two bogeys in his opening round while Lewton marred his otherwise perfect card with a double bogey on the sixth hole at the challenging Taiwan Golf and Country Club’s Tamsui course.
Thai duo Prom Meesawat, who was victorious in Taipei three weeks ago, and Namchok Tantipokhakul stayed one shot back of the leaders after signing for matching 71s at the long-running Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which is celebrating its 28th edition this week.
Despite closing with a bogey on the 18th, Fung is excited about his propects this week.
“I didn’t expect myself to birdie the par-three 10th hole. I thought I wouldn’t even par that hole because it was really long. I hit my tee shot to about one-feet from the hole and almost got a hole-in-one!” said the 24-year-old.
“It’s my first time playing on this course. A lot of my friends have encouraged me to come and play this tournament because they think this course suits my game a lot. I’m glad I finally had the chance to come here this week,” added the talented Malaysian, who was featured prominently for Team Asia in the memorable draw with Europe at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
Lewton took advantage of his impeccable short game to cap a good round. He birdied the second hole before stumbling with a double-bogey on the sixth but stormed back gallantly by adding three more birdies on his way home.
“My short game was really good. I chipped and putted very nicely. I dropped two shots on the sixth hole after hitting the ball out of bounds but I recovered well on the back nine. I hit very good iron shots which kept me close,” said Lewton, placed 31st on the current Order of Merit.
The tall Englishman got his season off to a great start when he posted two consecutive top-10 finishes. He had missed only one cut in seven starts.
“It was not as windy as normal today but it’s still as tricky as ever. You have to hit your ball onto the fairways and greens to score out there. I am aiming to finish in top-10 on the Order of Merit at the end of the season. I still have to put in a lot of hard work to get there. Hopefully a good result this week will get me closer,” added the 31-year-old.
Meanwhile Prom continued his love affair with Taipei as he put himself in the contention for a double victory this season.
“I’ve had a lot of good memories from winning in Taipei last month. I feel good coming back here this week and I hope to ride on my good form which I’ve been enjoying since the win. This is a challenging course and I’m very happy with how I played today. Hopefully I can keep it up,” said the 29-year-old Prom.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the penultimate tournament for players to qualify for the CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions.
As of October 20, the leading four golfers from the Order of Merit will earn starting places in the US$8.5 million HSBC Champions while the leading 10 players will qualify for the US$7 million CIMB Classic.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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