Puchong: Sabahan Nicholas Fung took full advantage of good scoring conditions at Kinrara Golf Club to post a stunning opener of seven-under 65 at the RM125,000 Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) I&P Kinrara Classic on Wednesday.
Bad weather forced almost a two-hour suspension of play but there was no stopping the 22-year-old, whose flawless card of seven birdies at Kinrara Golf Club saw him take an early two-shot lead over S. Sivachandhran.
A further stroke behind with a round of four-under 68 was rookie professional Jeremiah Kim while the trio of Khor Kheng Hwai, Sukree Othman and Mohd Hafiy Suhaili were bunched up on three-under 69.
A total of 24 players carded an even-par or better score, including two-time PGM Tour winner Danny Chia and reigning Order of Merit champion Nachimuthu Ramasamy, who both trail the leader by seven strokes after just one round.
Gunning for his third Tour title, Fung admitted that an early start played into his hands as he was able to sit out the rain delay, knowing that he had done enough for the day. “It was a good start for me at this tournament and I was lucky not to have had too many holes to complete in the soggy conditions after the rain delay,” said Fung.
Making only her second appearance of the burgeoning domestic circuit was lady professional Ainil Johani Bakar, who opened her campaign with a seven-over 79 despite playing off the back tees.
A total of 81 players, including two amateurs are in the field for the PGM Tour’s tenth stop.
Leading first round scores
65 – Nicholas Fung
67 – S. Sivachandhran
68 – Jeremiah Kim
69 – Khor Kheng Hwai, Sukree Othman, Mohd Hafiy Suhaili
70 – Nicholas Puan, Ben Leong, Mohd Azman Basharuddin
71 – Lam Yu Shuen, Shahizul Ahmad, Md Rashid Ismail, S. Murthy, Iszaimi Ismail, S. Tamilchelvan, Shaaban Hussin, Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain
72 – Dinata Abdullah, Wilson Choo, Danny Chia, Zurie Harun, M. Sasidaran, Tommy Chin, R. Nachimuthu