A closing eagle gave Australia's David Micheluzzi the lead in the 10th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship after round one at Sentosa GC.
Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship: Day 1 Report
David Micheluzzi of Australia holed out for eagle on the 18th hole to take the first round lead in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) at Sentosa GC in Singapore.
Last out at Sentosa GC, Micheluzzi reached the turn in two-under-par and then birdied the par-5 16th to get to four-under for the day. He then added the perfect finish to an already excellent round with an eagle two on the 18th to reach six-under and card an impressive 64.
Lloyd Jefferson Go from the Philippines, Cheng Jin of China and Chinese Taipei’s Yung-Hua Liu are tied for second after opening rounds of five-under-par 65.
Among the afternoon starters, Yung-Hua Liu of Chinese Taipei went out in one-over-par 36, but he turned on the afterburners on the run for home. He birdied the 10th and then five in a row from the 12th to move to five-under. He came home in 29 to equal the lowest nine-hole score ever recorded in the AAC.
“I had a good strategy for the day and the back nine was pretty special,” he said. “I have to keep it going now.”
Although only 20-years-old, Cheng Jin is making his seventh start in the AAC. He won the event in 2015 and has a number of impressive achievements to his name. He is a Junior at the University of Southern California and has previously won a pro event on the PGA Tour China.
Jin made six birdies and just one bogey in halves of 34 and 31.
The Philippines Lloyd Jefferson Go had reached seven-under in the latter stages of his morning round but dropped shots at his final two holes, the 8th and 9th.
This is the 23-year-old’s sixth appearance in the event and his best finish came back in 2015 when he was tied eighth. He played College golf in the U.S. for Seton Hall University and was twice a Big East player of the year.
“Yes, delighted to get off to a fast start,” he said. “I think I made the most of an early tee time. It’s definitely best to get out there when it isn’t quite so hot. For the last nine holes I had to get under the umbrella. I’m from the Philippines though so I am used to the heat.”
The heat was certainly a factor today, it cooled slightly in the afternoon but the wind picked up and a little rain started to fall. That meant conditions were a touch tougher for the later starters. The majority of the day’s good scores came from the first half of the field.
Five players are tied fifth on four-under-par with rounds of 66, Min Woo Lee of Australia, Indonesia’s Naraajie Ramadhan, K.K. Limbhasut of Thailand, Zheng Kai Bai from China and Jin-Bo Ha of South Korea . Min Woo Lee of Australia – the top ranked player in the field this week, birdied his final hole to post a very solid opening score. K.K Limbhasut posted an error-free round with four birdies and no bogeys. All those players teed off in the morning wave. South Korea’s Ha holed out with his second shot a the par-4 18th to card 66.
Overall, today’s scoring provides clear evidence of the increasing strength in depth of the fields for the AAC. No fewer than 37 players matched or beat par at Sentosa GC today. Even for those not contending for the title, this event provides a tremendous experience – playing in such a prestigious tournament on such a brilliant golf course.
Home player Hadi Abdul came out of the blocks fast in the early afternoon. He carded four birdies in his first seven holes but was pushed back by a double-bogey on the eighth. He finished level par for the day.
The New Tanjong layout at Sentosa has been receiving significant praise from competitors and officials. It’s been beautifully presented this week and is delivering a firm but fair test of tournament golf.
There’s still all to play for as we look towards day 2 of the AAC and the pressure will build as players at the top of the leaderboard contemplate the incredible prizes on offer this week.
Organised by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) in conjunction with The R&A and The Masters Tournament, the winner of this tournament receives: An invitation to compete in the 2019 Masters Tournament plus direct entry into The 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019. He will also receive an exemption into The Amateur Championship to be played at Portmarnock.
The runner(s)-up receive a place in The Open Qualifying Series with the opportunity to qualify for Royal Portrush.
Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship – Round 1 Scores
1 David Micheluzzi (Aus) 64
T2 Lloyd Jefferson Go (Phi) 65
T2 Cheng Jin (Chn) 65
T2 Yung-Hua Liu (Tpe) 65
T5 Naraajie Ramadhan (Idn) 66
T5 K.K. Limbhusut (Tha) 66
T5 Zheng Kai Bai (Chn) 66
T5 Min Woo Lee (Aus) 66
T5 Jin-Bo Ha (Kor) 66
T10 Tanapat Pichaikool (Tha) 67
T10 Keita Nakajima (Jap) 67
T10 Dongmin Kim (Kor) 67
Leading 60 players and ties after round two make the cut.