Lion roars into joint Jawi lead

Danny Chia is among the quartet tied for the lead ©Arep Kulal|PGM
Danny Chia is among the quartet tied for the first round lead ©Arep Kulal|PGM

Jawi [PENANG]: Local hope Lion Goh carded an opening five-under-par 67 to share the first round lead with three others at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Bukit Jawi Championship on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s Hamza Amin enjoyed his return to the Asian Development Tour (ADT) by posting a 68 to grab a share of fifth place with seven other players at the RM200,000 (approximately US$50,000) ADT event which is staged at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort this week.

On a day of national celebration for Malaysia, Goh produced his own fireworks by joining compatriot Danny Chia, Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat and Australia’s Jordan Sherratt at the top of the leaderboard.

The 23-year-old has only made the cut thrice in 13 previous starts on the ADT and was clearly elated with his early charge.

“This is one of the rare occasions when I find myself at the top of the leaderboard. Of course, I’m very happy as it shows that my game is heading in the right direction. I executed my game plan perfectly and was spot on with my putting,” said Goh.

He traded three birdies against one bogey in his opening four holes and surged further ahead with more birdies on holes six and nine.

While Goh could only mark his inward-nine with a 35, it was still enough for him to head into the next three rounds, brimming with confidence.

“There’s still lots of work to be done over the next three days but today’s performance has definitely given me the confidence of doing better,” said Goh.

Leading first round scores (Par-72) >
Malaysian unless stated
67 – Lion Goh, Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA), Danny Chia, Jordan Sherratt (AUS)
68 – Hamza Amin (PAK), Nitithorn Thippong (THA), Poom Saksansin (THA), Casey O’Toole (USA), Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (THA), Sean Riordan (NZL), Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA), Josh Salah (USA)
69 – Khor Kheng Hwai, Paul Harris (USA), Masaru Takahashi (JPN), Pasamet Pogamnerd (THA), Rory Hie (INA), Iylia Jamil