Homegrown talent Choo grabs opening round lead at PGM CCM Championship

Wed 10 Oct 2018

Homegrown talent Choo grabs opening round lead at PGM CCM Championship


Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, October 10: Local talent Wilson Choo got his campaign off to a flying start when he fired an eight-under-par 64 to seize the opening round lead at the weather-hit PGM CCM Championship on Thursday.

The 29-year-old Malaysian, who claimed his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship in 2015, mixed his card with one eagle, seven birdies, and one bogey, to grab a three-shot edge at the RM225,000 (approx. US$58,000) event.

Play was suspended at 12.42pm local time on Wednesday due to lightning threats before being abandoned for the day four hours later.

A total of 56 players returned to the Kota Seriemas Golf and Country Club to resume their opening rounds at 7.30am on Thursday morning with the second round scheduled to start at 11:55am.

Compatriot Shahriffuddin Ariffin posted a 67 to take second place, while Erwan Vieilledent of France and American Han Lee recorded matching 68s to share third place. American Sam Gillis, South Africa’s Mathiam Keyser, and Malaysia’s Mohd Amli Mohiyadeen trail by five shots in fifth following identical rounds of 69.

Starting from the 10th tee, Wilson rode on a hot putter to fire six birdies in his opening ten holes before dropping his first shot on hole 12.

The Malaysian kept up his charge to grab an eagle on hole 15 and another birdie on hole 16 to take his place atop the leaderboard.

“I putted very well today and had a lot of lucky misses. It could have been a lower round but I am still happy with how I finished. The last time I shot a 64 was in the first round in Langkawi (PGM LADA Langkawi Championship) when I won.

“The highlight of today would have to be hole 15 when I hit my second shot to three feet and made the putt for eagle. I was frustrated that I could not finish my round yesterday and only played one hole this morning, but I just told myself to stay calm and get the job done,” said Choo.

The 19-year-old Shahriffuddin, who claimed his maiden ADT victory on home soil two months ago, carded two birdies against two bogeys for an outward 36.

He birdied the first hole after the turn but would drop a shot on the second hole before recovering brilliantly with five birdies in his closing seven holes for an inward 31.

“I putted very well today and made a lot of key saves. My caddy Shahrul and I worked very well together and he helped me a lot with the line readings today which helped,” said Shahriffuddin.

“I am feeling very confident in my game right now and I just want to keep this momentum going,” he added.

Frenchman Vieilledent overcame his injury woes and took advantage of his accuracy off the tees for his commendable round of 68, where he missed only two fairways.

“I injured my wrist during the Taifong Open in August and found out it was Tendon Inflammation. I’m still playing through the pain since it’s not entirely healed yet so I have to be very careful when I am hitting from the rough.

 “I had a really good start to the round and was accurate off the tee. That was key for me today, I was three-under after five holes and was on a roll, then I had my first bogey on hole seven when I hit my tee shot into the water on the left and had to lay up to 20 yards. But I stayed patient and made two more birdies on holes 14 and 15,” said the 27-year-old.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

All ADT events are afforded with Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Leading first round scores:

64 - Wilson CHOO (MAS)

67 - Shahriffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 

68 - Erwan VIEILLEDENT (FRA) , Han LEE (USA) 

69 - Sam GILLIS (USA) , Mathiam KEYSER (RSA), Mohd Amli MOHIYADEEN (MAS) 

70 - Josh SALAH (USA) 

71 - Poom PATTAROPONG (THA) , Shinichi MIZUNO (JPN) , Brandon LAU Ka Kin (MAS) , Mohammad WAFIYUDDIN (MAS) , Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) , R. Nachimuthu (MAS) , Pone Pyae CHAN HAN (A) (MYN)  


About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.