Shah Alam: Chan Tuck Soon was the toast of the local contingent after the opening round of the 110th DRB-Hicom Malaysian Amateur Open on Thursday, carding a round of two-under 70 to take a share of third alongside Rinaldi Adiyandono of Indonesia, two shots behind leader Oliver Goss of Australia.
The burly 18-year-old endured a shaky start to his campaign at the Valley course of Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, making the turn with two bogeys on his card but rebounded with a solid front nine highlighted by three straight birdies from the second before another on the sixth kept him within touch of Goss and second-placed Poom Saksasin (69) of Thailand.
“The course played wonderful but the greens were rolling very fast and it was quite tricky. It didn’t help that my approaches were not dead on and I had my share of long putts on the first nine. At the turn, I told myself that I can’t attack on every single hole and I was able to shape my approach shots closer to the pin for more birdie opportunities,” said Chan.
He added, “I think I did well in the circumstances and it’s definitely a great start for me. The confidence level is high and all I need to do is stick to my gameplan and give myself a chance to advance to the weekend rounds in contention for the crown.”
Also putting forth a challenge on the domestic front is Daniel Ng, who is a further stroke behind Chan while the trio of Paul San, Mohd Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi and Gavin Kyle Green are among a bunch of seven on even-par 72.
Playing his first-ever tournament in Malaysia, Goss got off to a great start with an eagle on his second hole before dropping a bogey to make the turn on 35. The 17-year-old from Coogee, Western Australia then reeled off with birdies on the 10th, 13th and 18th for a flawless back nine of 33.
“I was off to a great start, and I knew that if I stayed consistent the course would give me a couple shots,” said Goss, who is the top-ranked player in the field at 34th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).”It’s a tough course with narrow fairways and slick greens.”
“My goal is to win a few events this year, so I hope that this tournament can jump start the rest of my season,” shared Goss.
In another development, Singapore’s Abdul Hadi Uda claimed an Audi A4 worth over RM250,000 after nailing an ace on the 230-m par-three eighth. A total of 129 players from 18 countries, including 79 local competitors are participating in the four-day event.
Leading first round scores
68 – Oliver Gross (AUS)
69 – Poom Saksansin (THA)
70 – Rinaldi Adiyandono (INA), Chan Tuck Soon (MAS), Khalin H Joshi (IND)
72 – Naripong Srithong (THA), Paul San Weng Yau (MAS), Jordan Surya Irawan (INA), Honey (INA), Mohd Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi (MAS), Siddhrath Senwal (IND), Gavin Kyle Green
73 – Nicklaus Chiam (SIN), Abdul Hadi Uda (SIN), Xu Jie Cody (SIN), Joshua Andrew Irawan (INA), Abel Tam (MAS)