Friday, March 09, 2012


Kuala Lumpur: Local favourite R. Nachimuthu was joined at the top of the halfway leaderboard by Singaporean Mardan Mamat at the RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) PGM-CCM-Impian Masters today.
Nachimuthu, the reigning Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour No 1, battled to a three-under-par 69 at the Impian Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in the season-opening event of the Asian Development Tour.
Mardan, fresh from a third Asian Tour victory at last month’s ICTSI Philippine Open, tied Nachimuthu on 11-under-par 133 thanks to a 67 which was sprinkled with six birdies against his first bogey of the tournament.
Newcomer Neill Reilly of England fired his second straight 67, which included three stunning eagles, to lie in third place on 134 while Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Dodge Kemmer of the United States stayed in the title hunt with a 68 to lie two behind the leaders going into the weekend rounds.
The 44-year-old Mardan is enjoying a rich vein of form as he also successfully qualified for his third British Open appearance through qualifying in Thailand last week.
“The one and a half months of work that I put in straight after our final event last year is paying off,” said Mardan, who is competing on a sponsor’s invite this week.
“I was solid from tee to green and holed some putts. On this course, you can make a score. I dropped my first bogey of the week with a bad drive (on the first hole) but considering it’s my only bogey so far, I’m quite happy.”
After an opening 64, Nachimuthu produced a card which included five birdies against two bogeys. With a proven Asian Tour champion standing in his way of a maiden Asian Development Tour title, the Malaysian is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m not going to worry about Mardan. He’s a good player but I’m just going to focus on my own game and the golf course,” said Nachimuthu, who triumphed three times on the PGM Tour last season.
“I started nicely on the front nine but missed some putts coming in. My game feels good, I’m in control of my shots and golf swing. I’m looking forward to playing in the weekend.”
Malaysia’s S. Sivachandran, the inaugural Asian Development Tour Order of Merit champion in 2010, shot a 67 to move up to tied fifth place on 137 alongside Filipino Gerald Rosales, who carded a 69.
Danny Chia of Malaysia is bunched on 138 with amongst others Filipino Jay Bayron, England’s Peter Richardson, Australia’s Anthony Choat and Japan’s Hirotaro Naito.
Par 144 (2x72)
133: R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 64-69, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 66-67
134: Neil REILLY (ENG) 67-67
135: Dodge KEMMER (USA) 67-68
137: Gerald ROSALES (PHI) 68-69, S. Siva Chandhran (MAS) 70-67
138: Muhammad Al-Warith (MAS) 70-68, Peter RICHARDSON (ENG) 70-68 , Jay BAYRON (PHI) 68-70, Danny CHIA (MAS) 68-70, Hirotaro NAITO (JPN) 72-66, Anthony CHOAT (AUS) 68-70, Senroku ISA (JPN) 68-70, Glenn JOYNER (AUS) 66-72





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