Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin took an early lead at the Indo Masters Invitational presented by TNE today, posting a five-under-par 67 to secure the overnight lead after play was suspended due to lightning and heavy rain.
Ariffin, who had the advantage of an early tee time, posted a consistent if uneventful score with three birdies on each nine, with only a single bogey on his sixth hole of the day, the par 3 16th. His first time on the course, he was happy with his performance at the US$70,000 Asian Development Tour event, the second in a series of six in Indonesia.
“My driving and putting was very good today, I just focused on the target. For the par fives make a birdie, par the par threes and try to get a birdie on the par fours. I wasn’t expecting to go so low today, maybe three under, so I’m happy,” said Ariffin after his round.
“It’s my first time here but the course is not easy, you need to hit really good drives and pay attention to your ball position, otherwise you have to try to get up and down from where you finish. One bogey on the par three, I three-putted. Hit a seven iron off the tee and opened the club face so I went all the way right. So I just putted from there. Thirty-two feet, then six feet but took the wrong line.”
China’s Chen Guxin. Photo by Yulius Martinus / OBGolf
China’s Chen Guxin, looking to improve on his fourth pace in last week’s OBGolf Invitational, was also able to take advantage of an early tee time at the Imperial Club Golf in Karachi, just outside Jakarta. Starting on the 10th tee, he posted nine straight pars before stretching his legs with back to back birdies just after the turn and a third birdie on his final hole.
Pisitchai Thippong of Thailand, staring from the first tee, struggled with the first half of his round, posting three bogeys offset with two birdies on the front nine, before recovering to score two more birdies and finishing with the flourish of an eagle on the 18th to claim equal second with Chen on 69. Lloyd Jefferson Go of the Philippines and Singapore’s Jesse Yap, who will both finish their first round in the morning, are also in the three-under group in second place.
Sam Gillis. Photo by Yulius Martinus / OBGolf
Sam Gillis of the USA, joining the Indonesia series in match two, started well and also eagled the 18th on his first nine, but a bogey on the 9th pulled him up short and dropped him into a share of third place, together with Justin Quiban of the Philippines who posted a four-birdie, two-bogey 70 and Australia’s Jack Murdoch, who has five holes to play to complete his round in the morning.
Last week’s winner Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra of Indonesia started well from the 10th tee but two bogeys before the turn slowed his advance, although he was able to steady the ship and two closing birdies set him atop a large group in ninth place, with a number of contenders needing to finish their rounds in the morning.
Included in that group is the other ADT rookie Jonathan Wijono, fresh from the battle at last week’s OBGolf Invitational, who posted a straight par opening nine, and with one birdie in the three holes he played before the hooter blew, will be looking to advance when play resumes at 6.30am on Thursday morning.