Thursday, February 18, 2016

 Aussie Holman sets pace with a 64 in Malaysia

Nathan Holman fired himself to the top of the leaderboard on day one of the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia and then set his sights on emulating Danny Willett who is just a shot behind.
The Australian carded a seven -under-par 64 to set the early target at Royal Selangor Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, and, while he could not be caught, Willett, fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, American Peter Uihlein, Frenchman Alexander Levy, Spaniard Jorge Campillo and Filipino Angelo Que all got to six under to pile the pressure on the 24 year old.
It was a continuation of some impressive early season form from Holman, who won the Australian PGA Championship in his 16th European Tour event in December and then sealed two top 40 finishes during the Desert Swing.

That win on the Gold Coast catapulted Holman from 318th to 171st in the Official World Golf Ranking and he is now aiming to follow Willett, who has had a recent meteoric rise of his own.
The 28 year old was 104th in the World Ranking in November 2015, but three European Tour wins since, including victory last time out at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, have moved him to 13th.
Holman started on the tenth and made a birdie on his opener before a hat-trick of gains from the 13th saw him turn in 32. Further birdies followed on the third and fifth before a 20-foot putt on the ninth moved him ahead.
"I just played really well to be honest," he said. "Every part of my game was quite good and I was saying a few weeks ago that my game has been trending in that right direction so it was nice to get a really good one in.
"A lot of the guys probably haven't played here. It's quite a tricky golf course and quite short so you need good lines off the tee and if you can get your wedges and putter going, you can post a score.
"It suits my eye. I like the look of it and obviously that's shown through with the score I had today so I'm looking forward to playing the next three days."
Willett turned in one under par 34 but hit his stride after the turn, chipping in for eagle on the 13th and following that with back-to-back birdies before sinking a huge putt on the last.
An eagle and four birdies in his first seven holes saw Uihlein threaten to set the target but he played his last 11 holes in level par, while a bogey on the last meant Levy dropped out of a share of the lead after he had birdied the 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th in a late surge.
Fleetwood was flawless in his 66 while Que and Campillo both had a single bogey in their efforts.
Thongchai Jaidee was then in the group at five under, with the seven-time winner joined by Richard Bland, Marcus Fraser, Masahiro Kawamura, K.T. Kim, Soomin Lee, Prom Meesawat and Miguel Tabuena.
SCOTSWATCH (by Colin Farquharson)
Stephen Gallacher had one of his best rounds of the year so far, at three-under-par 68 to be T20 at the end of the first day.
Malaysia-based Simon Yates and David Drysdale are T67 on the level par 71 mark.
Marc Warren's 73 pushed him down to joint 102nd place in a field of 156 players.

Par 71. Yardage: 7,079

64 - Nathan HOLMAN (AUS).
65 - Angelo QUE (PHI), Danny WILLETT (ENG), Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG), Peter UIHLEIN (USA), Alexander LEVY (FRA), Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP).
66 - Prom MEESAWAT (THA), K.T. KIM (SKOR), Richard BLAND (ENG), Thongchai JAIDEE (THA), Miguel TABUENA (PHI), Soomin LEE (SKOR), Marcus FRASER (AUS), Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN).
67 - Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA), Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND), Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA), Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS).
68 - Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS), Robert ROCK (ENG), HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE), Rahil GANGJEE (IND), Stephen GALLACHER (SCO), James MORRISON (ENG), Chapchai NIRAT (THA), Romain WATTEL (FRA), David LIPSKY (USA), Maximilian KIEFFER (GER), Thriston LAWRENCE (RSA).
69 - Kalem RICHARDSON (AUS), Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI), Rafa CABRERA-BELLO (ESP), Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN), Andrew DODT (AUS), Anthony WALL (ENG), Kristoffer BROBERG (SWE), Eduardo DE LA RIVA (ESP), Mikko KORHONEN (FIN), Anthony KANG (USA), K J LOW (MAS), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA), Chris WOOD (ENG), Graeme STORM (ENG), Natipong SRITHONG (THA), KOH Deng Shan (SIN).


68 Stephen Gallacher (T20)
71 Simon Yates, David Drysdale (T67)
73 Marc Warren (T102)





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