Twenty-three year-old Lion Goh shot an impressive five-under 67 to share the opening round lead of the Profesional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Bukit Jawi Championship in Penang with compatriot Danny Chia, Australian Jordan Sherratt and Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat.
Immediately after that he conceded that this was a pleasant surprised and added that it comes after working on a swing change over the last couple of months or so.
“I am very happy with today’s performance,” Goh said. “And it’s nice because my coach and I have been tweaking my swing since June/July, trying to get a more even plane while eliminating a loop that I had in it.
“It seems to be paying off now, because last week I felt good too and finished the (Penang Championship) one-under-par.
“And to start with a five-under here at Bukit Jawi is very encouraging. Hopefully I can build on it,” added the player who only turned pro about 18 months ago and still in search of a first victory on Tour.
Goh had five birdies over the front nine and another two over the home stretch, countered by a couple of bogeys – one on each nine.
In the RM200,000 tournament co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour, and one that carries world ranking points, Pakistan’s Hamza Amin, Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong, Atthaphon Sriboonkaew, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit and Poom Saksansin, New Xealander Sean Riordan and Americans Josh Salah and Casey O’Toole all carded 68s to stay in the hunt at one stroke back.
Leading First Round Scores
67- Lion Goh (Mas), Itthipat Buranatanyarat (Tha), Danny Chia (Mas), Jordan Sherratt (Aus)
68- Hamza Amin (Pak), Nitithorn Thippong (Tha), Poom Saksansin (Tha), Casey O’Toole (US), Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (Tha), Sean Riordan (NZl),Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (Tha), Josh Salah (US)
69- Khor Kheng Hwai (Mas), Paul Harris (Usa), Masaru Takahashi (Jpn), Pasamet Pogamnerd (Tha), Rory Hie (Ina), Mohd Iylia Jamil (Mas)