Harris, Poosit set early pace at Sherwood Hills

Cavite, Philippines, April 22: Thailand’s Poosit Supupramai put up a noteworthy performance by carding a four-under-par 68 to share the opening round lead with American Paul Harris at the US$60,000 ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on Wednesday.

Coming off the back of a fifth place finish last week, Poosit rode on his good form to grab a one-shot lead with Harris, who fired seven birdies against three bogeys, at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club.

One-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner Masaru Takahashi took third place with American Josh Salah and Thammanoon Sriroj of Thailand at the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic, which is the second consecutive ADT tournament to be staged in the Philippines.

Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei and Singapore’s Mitchell Slorach were among those bunched in sixth place following identical opening 70s in what is the eighth leg on the ADT schedule this season.

Poosit credited his solid iron-play for an encouraging score which marked his best round on the ADT so far this season.

“I hit good tee shots today and my iron-play was good. I putted well too. The wind was blowing out there and it was different from my practice round yesterday. I am still happy with how I shot. I am playing with a lot more confidence after finishing fifth last week,” said the 21-year-old Poosit, who traded six birdies against two bogeys.

“My aim is to finish in top-five on the final Order of Merit to get my Asian Tour card for 2016. My brother did that last year and that motivates me a lot,” added Poosit, younger brother of Sattaya who earned playing rights on the 2015 Asian Tour season after finishing fourth on the ADT Order of Merit and also getting inside top-60 on the Asian Tour Merit rankings last year.

Starting from the 10th tee, Harris fired five birdies against a lone bogey to turn in 32 before adding two birdies and two bogeys on his way home.

“It was a good round. I managed to stay in it. I hit the ball really good and my putter was rolling well too. The greens are perfect, nice and fast. It was windy out there but I think you can play well in the wind if you strike the ball good. My ball striking was good,” said the 24-year-old American, who is playing in his second year on the ADT.

Having made only two cuts in five starts on the ADT so far this season, Harris is determined to turn his season around with a commendable result this week.

“There are a lot of good players out here. I enjoy playing on the ADT a lot. It is a very good platform for players to hone their skills and make their ways onto the Asian Tour. The season has been rough for me. Hopefully a good result this week would put me closer to one of the five coveted Asian Tour cards on offer this season,” added Harris.

The ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic is one of the two tournaments title-sponsored by the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) in the Philippines on the ADT schedule this season.

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 could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com

Leading first round scores

68 – Paul HARRIS (USA), Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA)

69 – Josh SALAH (USA), Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA), Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN)

70 – HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE), Orlan SUMCAD (PHI), Arnold VILLACENCIO (PHI), Nelson HUERVA (PHI), Kevin MARQUES (AUS), Mitchell SLORACH (SIN)

71 – Reynaldo PAGUNSAN (PHI), Darren TAN (AUS), Frankie MINOZA (PHI), Campbell RAWSON (NZL), Cassius CASAS (PHI), Nick REDFERN (ENG), Tommy MOU (TPE), Ric DEPILO (PHI)

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.