Fung races to early lead #RWMMasters

Thu 19 Nov 2015

Fung races to early lead #RWMMasters

  • SHARE
Manila, November 19: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung snatched the first round clubhouse lead with a solid six-under-par 66 at the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters on Thursday, four days after missing a maiden Asian Tour victory.
The 25-year-old Fung, who has two top-10s in what is the richest tournament in the Philippines, showed his liking once more for the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club with a seven-birdie card to lead by one from Thailand’s Poom Saksansin and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao.
Australian Sam Brazel, Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chien-po and Filipino Orlan Sumcad all shot 68s to share fourth place in the Asian Tour tournament. The afternoon session is currently in progress.
Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei
The slightly-built Fung, who finished one shot behind Thai winner Danthai Boonma at the World Classic Championship in Singapore last weekend, wielded a hot putter and needed only 23 putts.
“My game is feeling good and I have been playing well. I left a couple of shots out there but it’s okay. I am feeling very confident,” said Fung.
“I like playing here. It is always good to come back as I always feel comfortable. My runner-up finish last week definitely gave me a boost in confidence. It’s good to come into the week with good form.”
Fung is determined to keep his foot on the pedal in his chase for a maiden Asian Tour title which could also help him secure a berth in the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in January which pits Asia against Europe. He was a captain’s pick in 2014.
The Malaysian added that he has benefited from countryman Danny Chia’s advice where the latter won a second Asian Tour win in Taipei recently.
“He’s (Chia) like a mentor to me. Looking at how he won in Chinese Taipei after coming back from injury really inspired me. If he can do it, why can’t I? Furthermore, I have no injuries so I knew I needed to change my mind set. He has told me to just enjoy my game and not think too much about winning,” said Fung.
Poom Saksansin of Thailand Poom Saksansin of Thailand
“So I wasn’t disappointed after missing out on my win last week because that runner-up finish allowed me to secure my card.”
Hung, 23, was disappointed to bogey two of his last three holes to fall one off the early pace. However, he feels confident of sustaining a week-long challenge in his chase for a first Asian Tour title.
“I feel pretty good. Before I came, I already felt good as I love this course,” said Hung, who enjoyed a tied fourth finish here last season.
“I made a lot of long putts, so I putted good. Only bad thing was the bogey, par, bogey finish. I counted a wrong yardage on seven and then I lost my confidence coming in. Tried to birdie eight but bogeyed nine with another wrong yardage.”
Poom, playing in the first match out from the 10th tee, took advantage of ideal scoring conditions with six birdies against a lone dropped shot. “It was not windy. I guess that was an advantage for me. I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdies and I hit man good shots too,” said the 22-year-old, who is bidding to become the second straight Thai winner on Tour.
“Winning on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) has given me a lot of confidence too. The season hasn’t been great before I won but after winning, I feel more confident with my game. I told myself maybe I can do well on the Asian Tour too. I am happy to get off to a good start.”