Selangor, Malaysia, November 22: Singapore’s Johnson Poh battled fatigue to return with a four-under-par 68 to take the clubhouse lead at the opening round of the weather-disrupted PGM GlobalOne Championship on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old mixed his card with five birdies and one bogey to hold a one-shot lead over Nattawat Suvajanakorn of Thailand who returned with 69 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$44,600) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event, held at Saujana Golf and Country Club.
The play was suspended at 3.45pm local time due to lightning threats before resuming at 5.45pm. The round was subsequently suspended for the day at 6.50pm local time due to darkness. A total of 36 players will resume their rounds at 7.40am local time on Thursday with the second round scheduled to start at 8.00am local time.
Poh, who is chasing for a breakthrough win, got off to a sizzling start with birdies on holes one, five, seven and eight. He made his only bogey for the round on the 10th before getting back on track with a birdie on 11th where he sank a 30-foot putt.
“I hit a lot of fairways and greens today and didn’t get into much trouble. The only bogey I had was on hole 10 because I had a flyer lie, hit it my approach over the green and missed my putt. I made a long 30-foot putt on the next hole, which was a pretty tough downhill putt that broke left to right, so that was a good save,” said Poh.
Poh, played in the 2017 NSW Open Championship last week and admitted that he was feeling a little tired from travelling and having to acclimatize himself to the weather change.
“The weather here is so hot and humid so I took it easy yesterday since I arrived at 3am in the morning from Sydney. I controlled my meal times to get my body back on track with the little time I had,” added Poh.
Two-time ADT winner James Byrne from Scotland sits in tied-third place at 70. Joining him are Ian Andrew from Malaysia and three players from Thailand – Pijit Petchkasem, Panuwat Muenlek and Pitipat Pitimana-Aree.
Players will have everything to fight for as the Tour winds down for the 2017 season with only three tournaments left. Only the leading five players on the Order of Merit at the end will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2018.
All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive at least six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading first round scores:
68 - Johnson POH (SGP)
69 - Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA)
70 - Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) , James BYRNE (SCO) , Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) , Ian ANDREW (INA) , Pitipat PITIMANA-AREE (THA)
71 - S. Murthy (MAS) , Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) , Shariffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) , M. Sasidaran (MAS) , Adam Arif MADZRI (A) (MAS)
72 - Abel TAM (MAS) , Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) , Amir NAZRIN (MAS) , Lexus KEONINH (USA) , Brett MUNSON (USA) , Leunkwang KIM (MAS)
73 - CHAN Tuck-soon (A) (MAS) , Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) , Reagan PNG (SGP) , S. Siva Chandhran (MAS) , Scott SECORD (CAN) , Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) , Sorachut HANSAPIBAN (THA) , KOH Deng Shan (SGP) , Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) , CHOO Tze Huang (SGP) , Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) , M Alwarith DAMIAN (MAS) , Jonathan WOO (SGP)
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.