Thursday March 7, 2013
Danny overcomes stiff neck to take one-shot lead
SHAH ALAM: Malaysian ace Danny Chia (pic) overcame a stiff neck to shoot a bogey-free five-under 67 and take the opening round lead at the US$65,000 PGM Northport Glenmarie Classic at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club yesterday.
Danny posted five birdies, including four on the homeward nine, for a one-shot lead over an in-form James Bowen of the United States.
Bowen won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in Malaysia two weeks ago.
Malaysians Iain Steel and Kenneth De Silva shared third with identical 69s in the year’s third ADT event.
Danny, a winner on the Asian Tour, admits he was lucky to have returned a low score as he had pulled a muscle during warm-up.
“I’m quite fortunate. I went to see a doctor after my round and my neck isn’t so stiff now. I’ve been working with my coach in the last five months, so I’m striking the ball a bit better,” said the 40-year-old.
“The golf course is in good condition but the greens are a bit challenging.”
Bowen, the current ADT Order of Merit leader, took advantage of a “phenomenal” short game to launch a bid for a unique Malaysian double.
“I hit it all over the place but my putter was red hot. When I had a birdie putt, I made them. My short game was absolutely phenomenal. My confidence is just very high at the moment,” said Bowen.
The Official World Golf Ranking will be used to determine the field when golf makes a return to the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
All winners on the ADT will receive a minimum of six world ranking points while the top-six players and ties will earn points based on a sliding scale.
(Malaysian unless stated)
Leading first round scores: 67: Danny Chia; 68: James Bowen (US); 69: Iain Steel, Kenneth De Silva; 70: Michael Bibat (Phi), Chang Tse-Peng (Tpe), S. Murthy, Grant Jackson (Eng), Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha); 71: George Gandranata (Ina), Mitsuhiko Hashizume (Jpn), Mohd Azman Basharudin, Park Il-hwan (Kor), Mars Pucay (Phi), Ryan Bulloch (Aus), George Thacker (Eng), Blake McGrory (Aus), Takuya Yamauchi (Jpn); 72: Koh Deng Shan (Sin), Rizal Amin, Prin Sirisommai (Tha), Mitchell Slorach (Sin), R. Nachimuthu, Akhmal Tarmizee; 73: Adam Shaw, S. Siva Chandhran, Kazumi Takahashi (Jpn), Clarke Lutton (Sco), Nicholas Fung, Lindsay Renolds (Can), Shaifubari Muda, Chirat Jirasuwan (Tha), Masaru Takahashi (Jpn), Jakraphan Premsirigorn (Tha), Daniel Bringolf (Aus), Ratchapol Jantavara (Tha), A. Sasar.