KUALA LUMPUR: Having received a much-needed boost in last month’s PGM Lada Langkawi Championship, Singaporean Koh Deng Shan’s confidence is at an all-time high as he plots to capture his first professional title at the PGM Johor Championship, which gets under way at the Johor Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old finished second in Langkawi – his best effort since he began playing on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in 2011.
It also propelled him to fourth place on the Order of Merit with total earnings of US$10,116 (RM32,500).
Deng Shan also believes that the second-placing “is a sign of better things to come” and hopes to reproduce the form as he seeks to make his maiden breakthrough this week.
“I played really good in Langkawi. My putting was solid. It definitely boosted my confidence,” said Deng Shan.
“I’ve gained a lot of experience playing on the ADT and it has allowed me to prepare for events on the main Tour. I also got to earn world ranking points, which is good.”
The Singaporean will be joined by a talented cast that includes ADT Order of Merit leader Chan Shih-chang of Taiwan, defending champion Grant Jackson of England, American Brett Munson and Wisut Artjanawat of Thailand at the RM200,000 event, which is the fifth leg on the ADT schedule this season.
Asian Tour veterans Zaw Moe of Myanmar, Lam Chih-bing and Mardan Mamat of Singapore will also feature in the event alongside reigning ADT Order of Merit winner Nicholas Fung, who is expected to lead the local charge alongside Iain Steel and Danny Chia.
Deng Shan is no stranger to the local golfing scene, having enjoyed a fairly successful amateur career which included winning the Malaysian Amateur Open in 2008.
He also has fond memories of the Johor Golf and Country club. In 2008, he made the halfway cut there and he also finished tied-45th at the Asian Tour’s Johor Open as an amateur.
“I’m trying to play without any expectations this season. I just want to take it one event at a time or, better still, one round at a time,” he said.
“I know my game is there as I’ve been in contention a couple of times. I don’t want to give myself any pressure. I’ll do my best and we’ll see how it goes.”
The winner of the PGM Johor Championship will go home US$10,720 (RM34,480) richer and with six Official World Golf Ranking points.