Penang, Sept 9: Malaysia’s M Sasidaran grabbed the lead in the rain-delayed PGM Penang Championship after the first round on Wednesday following a sparkling six-under-par 66.
Sasidaran, who had a welcome tied sixth-place finish in the PGA Rahman Putra Championship in June after some indifferent results, leads by a stroke from countryman Iylia Jamil with the in-form R Nachimuthu and Kenneth De Silva a further shot behind after 68s.
The leader thrived in the wet conditions with seven birdies and a single bogey on his third last hole at Penang Golf Club.
Jamil shot a bogey-free 67 highlighted by three birdies in a row from the third hole.
Malaysia’s Nachimuthu seems to be due a victory after four top-10 finishes on the PGM Tour in the last five months, including a tied second place behind runaway winner Nicholas Fung at the PGM Johor Championship.
He shot six birdies and two bogeys in difficult playing conditions.
Fung, winner of the 2012 Palembang Musi Championship and and Mercedes-Benz Masters Vietnam in 2010 on the ASEAN PGA Tour, endured a rollercoaster round of 70 with six birdies and four bogeys and is four shots off the pace.
Kemarol Baharin started his bid for a second ASEAN PGA Tour title this season with a level-par 72. Baharin claimed the PGM UMW Impian Championship crown with a three-stroke victory in April.
Play was delayed by more than four hours because of heavy rain in the morning and was again suspended for a couple of hours just after midday.
The PGM Penang Championship is the sixth event on this season’s ASEAN PGA Tour schedule and is co-sanctioned with the PGM Tour.