Manjung [PERAK]: An aggressive approach paid dividends for Brandon Lau en-route to taking a share of the opening round lead at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) EurAsia Perak Championship on Wednesday.
Lau, 24, traded seven birdies against three bogeys for a round of four-under 68 – an effort matched by American John Catlin, who marked his card with five birdies against one bogey.
Australian Martin Dive, Malaysian Keegan Kam and American Paul Harris shared third place following equal 69s at the Damai Laut Golf and Country Club.
The domestic ladies contest saw Michelle Koh carding a round of two-under 70 to lead by five shots from the only other competitor Genevieve Ling I-Rynn.
Play was suspended at 9.03am local time due to lightning threats before resuming about four hours later.
Leading first round scores (Par-72):
68 – BRANDON LAU KA KIN, John Catlin (USA)
69 – Martin Dive (AUS), KEEGAN KAM, Paul Harris (USA)
70 – WILSON CHOO, Josh Salah (USA), SHARIFFUDDIN ARIFFIN, NACHIMUTHU RAMASAMY
71 – SIVACHANDHRAN SUPRAMANIAM, KENNETH TOBUSE
72 – AMIR NAZRIN JAILANI, Nattawat Suvajanakorn (THA), Sam Cyr (USA), KEMAROL BAHARIN, Panuwat Muenlek (THA), TAN CHIEN HAU
Lau got off to a strong start from the 10th hole, firing three straight birdies from the 11th hole before three bogeys, one birdie and a par saw him make the turn in 35. He went on to pick up three birdies on his way home.
“I chipped it in on hole 16 and made birdie, and that boosted my confidence after the two bogeys I made. I was more aggressive with my approaches and managed to hit it inside eight feet on a lot of the hole,” said the Sabahan, who triumphed at the PGA of Malaysia (PGAM) Players’ Championship in September.
“A couple of weeks ago we played in Labuan which had really tight fairways. This course is not as tight and I found that I could be a bit more aggressive, which helped my game in a big way,” added Lau.
Catlin, a one-time ADT winner, only played nine holes in his practice round before getting his campaign underway at the RM200,000 (approx. US$44,600) ADT event.
“I got into trouble on hole 15 when my drive hit the cart path. But I got lucky with a decent lie and only ended up making a bogey. Overall, I am pretty happy with my round since it is my eighth week in a row and I am feeling a little tired from all the travelling,” said Catlin.