Jordan Irawan of Indonesia and Smithti Teeratrakul of Thailand fired matching six-under-par 66s to share the first round lead at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship on Wednesday.
The duo, both aged 19, leads by one shot over reigning Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand and Malaysian trio Gavin Kyle Green, Nicholas Fung and Sukree Othman at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Danny Masrin of Indonesia fired a 68 for seventh position while six other players including Arie Irawan and ADT winner Sean Riordan of New Zealand were bunched up in eighth place at the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) ADT event.
Irawan kept calm and composed as he posted his career’s low round after shooting six birdies and one eagle. The highlight of his day came when he holed a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-five third hole.
“I took a break from competitive golf for three weeks to meet with my coach (David Milne) in Indonesia. We worked on my mental game and it seems to be paying off,” said Irawan, who is searching for a first career win.
“We didn’t do much on my game, it was more 80% mental and 20% on my game. I tend to get mad when things don’t go my way so we talked about how to accept the good and bad in golf,” he explained.
Thailand’s Pavit, who started on the back nine, bogeyed his opening two holes but bounced back brilliantly when he holed a tricky 10-feet birdie putt on the 13th hole. He returned with seven more birdies against one bogey to stay within touching distance of the leaders.
“The putt on 13 gave me the confidence for the remainder of my round. I struggled with my driver but I was lucky I didn’t get into too much trouble. I’m happy with how I played but I the way I recovered after that slow start is a positive sign for me,” said Pavit, a four-time ADT winner.
Malaysia’s Green, who turned professional recently, turned in 33 after chipping in for birdie from 20 yards before adding three more birdies and one bogey.
“It was a solid round. I kept a lot of balls in play and that was my advantage. My game has been getting better because I changed my swing after turning professional to keep it more consistent. It seems to be working for me now,” said Green, who won his first ADT title as an amateur last year.
The winner of the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship will take home a prize purse of US$9,615 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points. The top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
Leading first round scores:
66 – Jordan IRAWAN (INA) , Smithti TEERATRAKUL (THA)
67 – Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) , Gavin Kyle GREEN (MAS) , Sukree OTHMAN (MAS) , Nicholas FUNG (MAS)
68 – Danny MASRIN (INA)
69 – Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) , Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) , Sean RIORDAN (NZL) , Mitchell SLORACH (SIN) , Sejun YOON (USA) , Arie Irawan (MAS)
70 – George GANDRANATA (INA) , Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) , LAM Chih Bing (SIN) , Josh SALAH (USA) , Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) , James BOWEN (USA) , Blake SNYDER (USA) , Casey O’TOOLE (USA)
71 – Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) , Rory HIE (INA) , Tommy Mou (TPE) , Solomon Emilio ROSIDIN (MAS) , Kiishaan THARMALINGAM (MAS) , KOH Deng Shan (SIN) , Nakarintra RATANAKUL (THA) , R. Nachimuthu (MAS)
72 – Zurie HARUN (MAS) , Mohd Amli MOHIYADEEN (MAS) , Paul HARRIS (USA) , Paul DONAHOO (AUS) , Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) , Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) , Brett MUNSON (USA) , YE Jian-feng (CHN) , LOW Khai Jei (A) (MAS) , Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) , KIM Leun-kwang (MAS) , Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) , KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS) , GOH Kun Yang (SIN) , Greg MOSS (USA) , Janne KASKE (FIN) , Khandaker Rahat Tahsin PARASH (BAN)