Jakarta: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung grabbed the first round lead at the inaugural Bii Maybank ADT Challenge with an opening six-under-par 66.
Fung traded seven birdies against one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Chen-chin, who returned with a 67 at the three-day US$50,000 event Asian Development Tour (ADT) event held at the Imperial Golf Club.
Philippines’ Mars Pucay carded a 68 to take a share of third place with Indonesia’s Maan Nasim while Maybank ambassador, Shaaban Hussin of Malaysia was among the seven players bunched in tied-fifth place on 69.
Fung, who has three runner-up finishes on his domestic Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour, is playing on a sponsor’s invitation this week. The Sabahan does not hold an ADT card but has set his sights on earning his playing rights on the Tour by signing up for next year’s Qualifying School.
“I do not have a card on the Asian Tour and I was invited by Maybank to play in this week’s event,” said Fung. “I hit the ball really well today and my putting was very solid. My performance today has given me lots of confidence and I’m planning to sign up for Qualifying School next year and hopefully earn more playing opportunities,” he added
Meanwhile Shaaban is hopeful that he can end the week with a good result as it will boost his chances of regaining his Tour card. The Malaysian previously held a full Asian Tour card in 2010 and he has set himself a target of finishing in the top-three of the ADT Order of Merit .
“Every event that I play in will give me lots of confidence and this week’s Bii Maybank ADT Challenge is no different. I’m happy with how I’ve played today and hopefully I can come away with a good performance this week,” said Shaaban.
The tournament marks Maybank’s first foray on the Asian Development Tour and comes on the back of their long-term involvement with the Malaysian Open, which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Leading first round scores
66 – Nicholas Fung (MAS)
67 – Chiang Chen-Chih (TPE)
68 – Mars Pucay (PHI), Maan Nasim (INA)
69 – Unho Park (AUS), Shaaban Hussin (MAS) Jay Bayron (PHI), Anura Rohan (SRI), Joon Lee(KOR), Antonio Lascuna (PHI), Benny Kasiadi (INA)