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Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 10:01:00 PM
Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 10:02:38 PM
Shaaban Hussin in a file photo. He had a 36 on the front nine and a five-under 31 on the homeward nine.
PETALING JAYA: Shaaban Hussin fired a five-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the RM180,000 PGM UMW Sabah Classic at the Sabah Golf and Country Club Wednesday.
The Perak player led a four-strong Malaysian contingent into the top-three spots where M. Sasidaran was second with a 69, while Chien Tan and PGM Tour Order of Merit leader Nicholas Fung were tied on two-under 70.
Leader of the ADT standings, Malaysia’s Iain Steel was tied for fifth spot with compatriots Faridil Atras, Amli Mohiyadeen, Airil Rizman Zahari and Sukree Othman on one-under, alongside Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela, Australian Darren Tan and Americans Gary Knight and James Bowen, second on the Asian Tour’s feeder Order of Merit standings.
On a course that was always going to yield birdies galore, given the rain that fell the day before the start, Shaaban made the most of it as he kept his waywardness to a minimum and his putter hot. He had an even 36 on the front nine that was marked by a couple of bogeys and birdies, then lit up the homeward nine with a flawless five-under 31.
“I hit the ball really well today and my putting was also very good,” he said after setting the pace.
“With the rain that fell yesterday (Tuesday), the greens were soft and it meant we could land the ball near the flag for decent birdie chances.
“But this is only round one. We still have three days to play, so we will have to wait and see how I finish. My hope is to carry on like this and maybe I will have a good chance of finishing at the top.”
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