Johnson fires opening 69 to lead MPI Saujana Amateur Championship

Singapore’s Johnson Poh fired an opening 69 to lead the MPI Saujana Amateur Championship at Saujana Golf & Country Club’s Bunga Raya Course.

Johnson Poh MPI Saujana Rd 1Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin Jailani, newly-crowned Malaysian Amateur Open champion Marc Ong of Singapore and Indonesia’s Kevin Caesario Akbar are a stroke back on 70.

“I played steadily today,” said Johnson. “I started from the back nine making two birdies at holes 16 and 18. I picked up two more birdies at the 10th and 11th. My only bad hole was at the par-five 7th where I missed a five-footer and made bogey. Overall, my drives were good and my putting solid. Finding the fairway here is very important and I managed that today.”

Amir had six birdies offset by four bogeys whilst Marc had two birdies in a bogey-free round. Kevin’s four birdies were marred by two bogeys.

“This is a good opening round for me. I hit lots of good shots and gave myself a lot of chances today,” said Marc. “I felt I didn’t hole enough putts though, missing six putts inside of 10 feet. My irons were very good and despite the wet conditions, it did not bother me.”

17-year-old Kevin opened with two birdies but immediately relinquished both at the following two holes; picking up two more birdies at holes 7th and 18th. “I didn’t make many mistakes today, hitting a lot of fairways and greens. My irons were very good today,” said Kevin.

From among a group of five a shot further back on 71 is China’s 16-year-old Yongxuan . He eagled the 523-yard par-five first hole with a 280-yard drive and landed his second shot with a hybrid only seven feet from the cup. “I’m very happy with my score and game. I played my irons well although my putting is only so-so,” said Yin.

A heavy rainstorm just hours before play delayed the start by a half hour but despite the cloudy conditions, there were no further delays.

Scores (Malaysia unless otherwise stated):

69 – Johnson Poh (SIN)

70 – Amir Nazrin Jailani; Marc Ong (SIN); Kevin Caesario Akbar (INA)

71 –  Ryan Wong (SIN); Genki Okada (Saujana); Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA); Daeng Abd Rahman Abd Aziz; Yongxuan Yin (CHN)

72 –  Chi Huang (TWN); Sangchai Kaewcharoen (THA);

73 – Abdul Hadi (SIN); Hein Sithu (MYN); Harrison Endycott (AUS)

74 – Almay Rayhan Yagutah (INA); Fadhli Rahman Soetarso (INA);Justin Warren (AUS)

75 – Dan Emilio Cruz (PHI); Afiffudin Adul Aziz; MAung MAung Oo (MYN); Carlo Villaroman (PHI); Gregory Foo (SIN); Tommy Tan (SIN); Khavish Varman Varadan

76 – Kim Gyeong Min (KOR; Shinichi Mizuno (HKG); Tirto Tamardi (INA); Jerome Ng (SIN)

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