Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, January 18: Martin Dive of Australia fired a sparkling eight-under-par 64 to lead by three shots in the opening round of the PGM CCM Seriemas Championship on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Dive traded eight birdies and one eagle against two bogeys to get off to a flying start in the first Asian Development Tour (ADT) event in 2017.
Steve Lewton of England, an Asian Tour winner, Dino A. Giacomazzi of the United States, Lion Goh of Malaysia and Thai duo Sorachut Hansapiban and Panuwat Muenlek fired matching 67s to trail the leader at the Seriemas Golf and Country Club.
Malaysian trio Kiishaan Tharmalingam, Solomon Emilio Rosidin and Ali Reza Khairuddin were a further shot back in tied seventh place at the RM220,000 (approximately US$49,000) ADT event.
Starting from the first nine, Dive carded five birdies and one bogey on the front nine before bouncing back with an eagle on hole one. He slipped back with a bogey on the next hole but recovered nicely with three birdies including two on his closing holes.
He missed out on an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in Thailand last week but he hopes to make amends on the ADT, where the top-five players on the Order of Merit at the end of the season earn playing rights for the following season.
“I’m excited to be over here. This is my first ADT and I’m enjoying my time in Asia. Not the result I wanted in Thailand but was playing quite nicely. I got off to a nice solid start and kept the momentum going,” said Dive.
“The top-five on the Order of Merit gets status next year and it is a great way to play four rounds of golf and boost your chances to play on the main Tour. There’s also an option to get three wins and get on Tour quicker,” he added.
Leading first round scores:
64 – Martin DIVE (AUS)
67 – Sorachut HANSAPIBAN (THA) , Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) , Dino A. GIACOMAZZI (USA) , Steve LEWTON (ENG) , Lion GOH (MAS)
68 – Kiishaan THARMALINGAM (MAS) , Solomon Emilio ROSIDIN (MAS) , Ali Reza KHAIRUDDIN (MAS)
69 – Pitipat PITIMANA-ARE (THA) , Brian JUNG (CAN)
70 – Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) , Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) , Nick SHERWOOD (USA) , Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) , Joshua MANSKE (USA) , Varanyu RATTANAPHIBOONKIJ (THA) , Sam CYR (USA) , Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) , John CATLIN (USA) , Oskar ARVIDSSON (SWE) , Scott SECORD (CAN)
71 – Kevin TECHAKANOKBOON (THA) , Janne KASKE (FIN) , Tawit POLTHAI (THA) , Supajak SUPAPINYO (THA) , Puk PRADITTAN (THA) , Brett MUNSON (USA) , Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) , Arie Irawan (MAS) , James BYRNE (SCO) , Peter LANSBURGH (USA)
72 – William CANNON (USA) , Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS) , Seungjae MAENG (KOR) , Mohammad WAFIYUDDIN (MAS) , Masaru TANI (JPN) , M. Sasidaran (MAS) , Purilarp EUAMMONGKOL (THA) , Noel HASSAN (MAS) , Kelby BURTON (USA) , Nattawat SUVANAJANAKORN (THA) , Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) , Sukree OTHMAN (MAS) , Sang LEE (CAN)
About 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.