KUALA LUMPUR: Kenneth De Silva and Mohd Amli Mohiyadeen led a tight leaderboard after shooting identical one-over 73s on the opening day of the national qualifiers for the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
They are one stroke ahead of three others – Kemarol Baharin, Tommy Chin and Rahizam Ramli on the West Course. Six others are another shot further behind – Zen Dharmaratne, Lam Kong Long, Chong Chee Ming, Mohd Irfan Yusoff, Wilson Choo and Jeremiah Kim.
With only four qualifying spots available from this tournament, the 49 Malaysian golfers upped the ante at the challenging KLGCC West Course, which will also host the Maybank Malaysian Open from April 17-20.
Kenneth, who started from the 10th tee, found the going tough in the beginning as he faltered to a three-over after 13 holes.
He, however, shot birdies on the fifth and sixth holes to share the lead with Mohd Amli.
“It was tough out there, as it always is on this course. I’m determined to hold on to my position as I had a taste of the Maybank Malaysian Open last year and I want to rub shoulders with the big boys once again.
“Last year, I was selected by GlobalOne as one of their invites to play in the tournament and it was a great experience.
“It helped my game a lot and this year, I hope to be among the four qualifiers,” said Kenneth.
Mohd Amli, meanwhile, shot even par on the back nine before dropping a shot on the way in, despite a fantastic eagle on the par-four eighth hole.
The four qualifiers from this tournament will join the 17 who have confirmed their places – Nicholas Fung, R. Nachimuthu, Arie Fauzi, Rizal Amin, Airil Rizman, Sukree Othman, Iylia Jamil, Khor Kheng Hwai, Shaifubari Muda, Danny Chia, Shaaban Hussin, Iain Steel, S. Murthy, S. Siva Chandhran, Gavin Kyle Green, Ervin Chang and Solomon Emilio Rosidin.