Manjung [PERAK]: Sabah teenager Solomon Emilio Rosidin matched the reigning Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Order of Merit champion Airil Rizman Zahari on the opening day of the Swiss-Garden Championship on Wednesday.
In a deep and strong field, featuring almost all of the country’s top players, 18-year-old Solomon fired a four-under 68 in tough conditions to lead alongside Airil at the picturesque Damai Laut Golf & Country Club.
Ben Leong carded a three-under 69 to stay one stroke off the top, while Shahriffuddin Ariffin, Lam Yu Shuen and Anis Hassan were joint fourth on 71.
Solomon, who only turned pro in January and has a top-15 spot as his best finish so far this season, buried seven birdies in a round that also saw him double-bogey the par-4 4th hole and bogey the par-3 17th hole.
It was gallant effort that left the young man to note: “I played very well and had seven birdies. But the double-bogey and bogey messed up what would have been a special number for me.
“Still, I’m really happy with how I started today. I hit my irons very well and I putted well too, even if some of the greens did not run true,” said the Kota Kinabalu native.
Leading first round scores (Par-72):
68 – Solomon Emilio Rosidin, Airil Rizman Zahari
69 – Ben Leong
71 – Shahriffuddin Ariffin, Lam Yu Shuen, Anis Helmi Hassan
72 – Sukree Othman, S. Sivachandhran, Danny Chia, Wilson Choo, Muhd Afif Mohd Razif (A)
73 – Kenneth De Silva, Rizal Amin, R. Nachimuthu, Kenneth Tobuse
74 – M. Sasidaran, Nicholas Fung, Low Khai Jei (A), Rashid Ismail, Kiishaan Tharmalingam