Highly rated Nicholas Fung of Malaysia was the only player to break par with an opening one-under-par 71 after the morning session of the PGM-MIDF-KLGCC Classic on Thursday.
Fung held a one stroke lead over Japanese Yosuke Tsukada, who bogeyed the last two holes, to return with a 72 in the RM200,000 (approximately US$66,666) event which is the season-finale for this year’s Asian Development Tour (ADT).
Japanese Takafumi Kawane, fourth on the ADT Order of Merit and battling to break into the top-three, posted a 74 that was matched by Zurie Harun of Malaysia at the majestic Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Fung, who won two local titles this year, turned in 36 highlighted with two birdies against as many bogeys and carded a superb chip in on the par three 11th hole from 30 yards for his only birdie on the homeward nine.
He said this was his best result at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, which was also the venue for this year’s Maybank Malaysian Open.
“I’ve never played so well on this course before. It was an average day for me but I’m playing with a lot of confidence after winning two titles this year,” said the 21-year-old.
Tsukada, who held the first round lead at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic before finishing in tied 37th place two weeks ago, was two-under for the day before two late blemishes on 17 and 18 where he three putted.
“It was a good round until the last two bogeys which was disappointing. I could have done better there. I need more consistency in my game,” said Tsukada, currently ninth on the Order of Merit.
Initiated by the Asian Tour, which is the official sanctioning body for professional tournament golf in Asia, the ADT was launched last year with the objective of creating a viable platform for young and aspiring professionals to hone their game and skills before joining the elite Asian Tour.
The top three players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn 2012 Asian Tour cards.
The PGM-MIDF-KLGCC Classic is the eighth and final leg this year which is three tournaments more than last year’s inaugural season.