Kuala Rompin: Airil Rizman Zahari took the first step on his return to winning ways after carding a flawless opening six-under 66 at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) PNB Lanjut Classic on Wednesday.
The seasoned campaigner was on fire as he sunk three birdies each side of the turn at the Lanjut Golden Beach & Golf Resort to take a one-shot lead over Akhmal Tarmizee Nazari and Order of Merit leader R. Nachimuthu.
At four-under 68 on his own was Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain while M. Sasidaran, defending champion S. Murthy and a resurgent Mohd Iylia Jamil were bunched up on three-under 69. A further shot back were veteran P. Gunasegaran, Chan Soo Keong, S. Sivachandhran, Kalana Ibrahim, Zurie Harun and youngsters Mohd Iszaimi Ismail, Kenneth Tobuse and Muhammad Alwarith Damian.
Airil, who broke his winless run with a home victory at the PGM Perlis Classic earlier in the year was a picture of confidence after an error-free first round. “I feel good about my game today and I was hitting it as well as I could,” said the 33-year-old, who managed all greens in regulation on the day.
“I hope I can keep up the momentum. My score could have been better because I missed a couple of makeable birdies but I will take this result anytime,” added Airil.
Leading first round scores
66 – Airil Rizman Zahari
67 – Akhmal Tarmizee, R. Nachimuthu
68 – Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain
69 – M. Sasidaran, S. Murthy, Mohd Iylia Jamil
70 – P. Gunasegaran, Kenneth Tobuse
71 – Chan Soo Keong, S. Sivachandhran, Kalana Ibrahim, Zurie Harun, Mohd Iszaimi Ismail, Muhammad AlWarith Damian
72 – Khor Kheng Hwai, Ruhaizad Hashim, Kemarol Baharin,Jeremiah Kim, Mohamad Rizal Amin, Wilson Choo, Tommy Chin, Shaifubari Muda