KUALA LUMPUR: American Paul Harris got off to a flying start when he fired a five-under 67 to take the opening round lead at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship.
Harris returned with a flawless round highlighted by five birdies to take a one-shot lead over Australian Daniel Bringolf, Lam Zhiqun of Singapore and ADT champions Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand and Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume, who shared second place on matching 68s at the Rahman Putra Malaysia Club on Wednesday.
Local hope Anis Hassan and Khor Kheng Hwai led the home charge with identical 69s to tie in sixth place with Thailand’s Suppakorn Uthaipai, Japan’s Senroku Isa and American Greg Moss, at the RM200,000 event.
The 23-year-old Harris, who finished tied-17th at the ADT season-opening Sime Darby Harvard Championship in Alor Setar two weeks ago, said: “I had a good start today (yesterday) which kept my momentum going. It is not an easy course but my form was good. Hopefully I can stay consistent in the next few rounds.”
Playing in only his second ADT event since making his debut last month, Harris hailed the burgeoning Tour as a great platform for aspiring golfers to play their way back to the main Asian Tour.
“Iain Steel (of Malaysia) has been encouraging me to come out and play here. I’m glad it’s been enjoyable so far. I like playing in this part of the world. It’s great that the ADT offers Official World Golf Ranking points as well. My main focus for this season is to play well on the ADT,” said Harris.