Titleholder Kemarol ahead in Templer Park

Kemarol Baharin ©Arep Kulal|PGM Tour
Kemarol Baharin ©Arep Kulal|PGM Tour

Rawang [SELANGOR]: There were no major surprises in store as the the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour season got underway with the opening round of the RM250,000 Panasonic Open Malaysia – Tournament of Champions on Wednesday.

There was a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with defending champion Kemarol Baharin shooting a flawless three-under 69, which was matched by Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Wisut Artjanawat of Thailand.

A further shot back in fourth was Kwanchai Tannin of Thailand, who might have had an even better day, had it not been for a couple of bogeys along the way at the challenging Templer Park Country Club.

A quartet of Malaysians – Shaaban Hussin, Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung and national amateur Gavin Kyle Green were joint one-under-par 71, as was Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume.

Leading first round scores (Malaysian unless stated):
69 – Kemarol Baharin, Mardan Mamat (SIN), Wisut Artjanawat (THA)
70 – Kwanchai Tannin (THA)
71 – Shaaban Hussin, Danny Chia, Mitsuhiko Hashizume (JPN), Gavin Kyle Green (A), Nicholas Fung
72 – Jhonnel Ababa (PHI), Kenneth De Silva, Arie Irawan
73 – Sukree Othman, Masaru Takahashi (JPN)
74 – Ben Leong, Peter Richardson (ENG), Md Rashid Ismail, James Bowen (USA)