Kajang: US-based national amateur Gavin Kyle Green blazed the Impian Golf & Country Club layout today, carding a four-under 68 to take the opening round lead at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Qualifying School.
The 18-year-old freshman from University of New Mexico, who is participating in the event to keep his game sharp during his month-long break here, took a solid four-stroke lead over Saujana GCC professional V. Arumugam and newly-minted professionals Kenneth De Silva and Low Khai Loon, all who managed level par with two rounds yet to be played.
The sextet of John Pang, Daniel Tan, Muhd Azry Asyraf Nor Azam, Mohd Rizam Ali as well as amateurs Daniel Ng and Ricky Yeow were a further two strokes behind.
Notable under finisher includes amateur Mohd Hisyam Majid (76), Azman Basharuddin (76) with another rookie professional Jeremiah Kim slow of the block, one-stroke over the qualifying average of 77 with a first round 78.
The three-day qualifier was part of the PGM’s long-term strategy of increasing competitiveness and ensuring that domestic professionals are kept on their feet. Participants who meet the qualifying mark set at 15-over 231 will join the top 50 players from last year’s Order of Merit on the 2012 PGM Tour, which is set to tee-off with the season-opening PGM Harvard Classic later this month.
Leading first round scores
68 – Gavin Kyle Green (A)
72 – V. Arumugam, Kenneth De Silva, Low Khai Loon
74 – John Pang, Daniel Tan, Muhd Azry Asyraf Nor Azam, Mohd Rizam Ali, Daniel Ng (A), Ricky Yeow (A)
75 – Aminudin Ahmad (A), Jamaluddin Bador, Lam Yu Shuen (A)
76 – M. Iqbal Yusof (A), Azman Basharuddin, Mohd Hisyam Majid (A), Mohd Shanizam Mohagi, Shawn Liew, Douglas Tobuse (A)
77 – Damien Chin (A), Ong Jay Vie (A)