Malaysia, November 8: John Catlin and Malaysian Brandon Lau shared the lead after opening their campaigns with matching four-under-par 68s at the PGM EurAsia Perak Championship on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old American marked his card with five birdies against one bogey while Lau, 24, traded seven birdies against three bogeys at the Damai Laut Golf and Country Club.
Play was suspended at 9.03am local time due to lightning threats before resuming about four hours later.
Catlin, a one-time ADT winner, only played nine holes in his practice round before getting his campaign underway at the RM200,000 (approx. US$44,600) ADT event.
“I got into trouble on hole 15 when my drive hit the cart path. But I got lucky with a decent lie and only ended up making a bogey. Overall, I am pretty happy with my round since it is my eighth week in a row and I am feeling a little tired from all the travelling,” said Catlin.
Lau got off to a strong start from the 10th hole, firing three straight birdies from the 11th hole before three bogeys, one birdie and a par saw him make the turn in 35. He went on to pick up three birdies on his way home.
“I chipped it in on hole 16 and made birdie, and that boosted my confidence after the two bogeys I made. I was more aggressive with my approaches and managed to hit it inside eight feet on a lot of the hole,” said Lau.
“A couple of weeks ago we played in Labuan which had really tight fairways. This course is not as tight and I found that I could be a bit more aggressive, which helped my game in a big way,” added Lau.
Australian Martin Dive, Malaysian Keegan Kam and American Paul Harris shared third place following equal 69s. Order of Merit leader Masaru Takahashi of Japan carded a 74 to tie in 19th place.
The PGM EurAsia Perak Championship, jointly sanctioned with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) tour, is the 17th leg of the ADT schedule this season.
26-year-old Catlin, placed fifth on the current Order of Merit, hopes to tighten his grip on one of the five Asian Tour cards on offer for 2018 with a good result this week.
“There are a lot of good players in this field but I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and stay focused. I still got three more events before the season ends and I will keep putting my foot on the gas and not look back,” added Catlin.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading round 1 results:
68 – John CATLIN (USA), Brandon LAU Ka Kin (MAS)
69 – Martin DIVE (AUS), Keegan KAM (MAS), Paul HARRIS (USA)
70 – Wilson CHOO (MAS), Josh SALAH (USA), Shariffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS), R. Nachimuthu (MAS)
71 – S. Siva Chandhran (MAS), Kenneth TOBUSE (MAS)
72 – Amir NAZRIN (MAS), Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA), Sam CYR (USA), Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS), Panuwat MUENLEK (THA), TAN Chien Hau (MAS)
73 – Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE)
74 – Kiishaan THARMALINGAM (MAS), CHAN Soo Keong (MAS), Pitipat PITIMANA-AREE (THA), LAM Kong Loong (MAS), Fadzlan FARUK (MAS), Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN), Daeng Abdul Rahman (MAS), Jonathan WONG (MAS), Irfan YUSOFF (MAS), Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS), Mukhtar ALWI (MAS)
75 – S. Murthy (MAS), Muhammad Syakir ADLI AZMI (MAS), Zurie HARUN (MAS), Janne KASKE (FIN)
76 – Sukree OTHMAN (MAS), Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA), M. Sasidaran (MAS), KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS)
77 – Muhammad Danial FAIDZ (MAS), Shaifubari MUDA (MAS), Helmie YUSOF (MAS)
78 – Mior Asyraf HAZIQ (MAS), Farid RASHID (MAS), Mohammad WAFIYUDDIN (MAS)
79 – Mohd. Nazri MOHD ZAIN (MAS), Nick ANG Xia Ee (MAS)
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.