Kemarol one back in Port Dickson

Kemarol Baharin of Malaysia ©Arep Kulal|PGM
Kemarol Baharin of Malaysia ©Arep Kulal|PGM

Port Dickson [NEGERI SEMBILAN]: A flawless opening effort of four-under 67 kept Kemarol Baharin one shot off the lead at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) ASEAN PGA PD Championship on Wednesday.

Kemarol, who triumped in April’s PGM ASEAN PGA UMW Impian Championship, was tied for second alongside Thailand’s Nirun Sae-Ueng at the Port Dickson Golf & Country Club.

Natthapong Niyomchon, also of Thailand, sizzled with a bogey-less five-under 65 to lead the RM180,000 tournament

A quartet of players – Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol of Thailand, Michael Bibat of the Philippines and locals Shaifubari Muda and Anis Helmi Hassan – stayed in the mix after returning with matching 68s.

Kemarol was happy with his opening effort, especially a solid back nine display which yielded three birdies.

“This was a good bogey-free round and I’m pleased with the way I started here. I hit the ball solid and I putted well too. When I did get into trouble I managed to salvage par and that lifted my confidence. Hopefully I can continue with this sort of form,” he noted.

Defending champion Lim Eng Seng had an up and down day with three birdies cancelled out by three bogeys in his round of level par 71.

Leading first round scores (Par-71) >
Malaysian unless stated
66 – Natthapong Niyomchon (THA)
67 – Kemarol Baharin, Nirun Sae-Ueng (THA)
68 – Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol (THA), Michael Bibat (PHI), Shaifubari Muda, Anis Helmi Hassan
69 – Settee Prakongvech (THA), Kenneth De Silva, Nattawat Suvajanakorn (THA), Sukree Othman, Sasidaran Muthiah