Birdie blitz gives Pannakorn the early lead at PGM ADT Johor Championship

Wed 06 Mar 2019

Birdie blitz gives Pannakorn the early lead at PGM ADT Johor Championship

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Johor, Malaysia, March 6: Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand set the early pace with a resplendent nine-under-par 63 following the first round of the PGM ADT Johor Championship on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old Pannakorn hit the ground running, shooting four birdies in his opening five holes. He carried the momentum after making the turn at 18, carding five more birdies before signing for a 63 at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club.

Compatriot Poom Pattaropong is just a shot behind in tied-second. Like Pannakorn, he enjoyed a bogey-free round at the RM 225,000 (approximately US$54,000) tournament, co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM).

Joining Poom on 64 is Korea’s Joohyung Kim and Malaysia’s Kenneth Tobuse. Defending champion Johnson Poh of Singapore is four shots off the lead, in tied-eighth.

Pannakorn credited his excellent round to his good ball striking and big-game mindset.

“I was hitting my driver and irons very well, and I found almost all the fairways today. In fact, I missed about three or four short birdie putts. If I had made those, my good round would have been even better!” he said.

Pannakorn won the 2017 ADT Order of Merit and earned an Asian Tour card for the 2018 season. He was not able to retain his card after finishing in 100th place on the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, but the experience of playing on Asia’s premier circuit has put him in good stead.    

He added: “I learned a lot from playing on the Asian Tour last year. I’ve been practising very hard in the last three months and working on every aspect of my game. I’m feeling very confident this year.”

The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive a minimum of six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive a minimum of six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

Click here for first round scores