Natthapong Niyomchon of Thailand shot a five-under 66 to take the first round lead of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Port Dickson Championship at Port Dickson Golf & Country Club today.
The leader secured a one-strike cushion from his compatriot Nirun Sae-Ueng and Malaysia’s Kemarol Baharin who both returned with matching 67s.
On a congested leaderboard, Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol, also of Thailand, Filipino Mike Bibat and other hometown hopes Shaifubari Muda and Anis Helmi Hassan were a further stroke back on 68 in joint fourth place.
The Malaysian trio of Sukree Othman, M Sasidaran and Kenneth De Silva were tied for eighth place on 69 with the Thai duo of Settee Prakongvech and Nattawat Suvajanakorn.
Happy with his opening effort, Kemarol said: “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,” added the multiple Tour winner who resides in Kuala Lumpur. Kemarol made turn in one-under 34 and then came back with another three birdies over the second nine – two of them at the 16th and 17thholes.
The Port Dickson Championship is co-sanctioned with the Asean PGA Tour and features players from several countries in the region, looking to use the event as stepping to build their careers.
Leading First Round Scores
66 – Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA)
67 – Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) , Nirun SAE-UENG (THA)