AUSTRALIAN Oliver Goss set the pace with a four-under 68 at the 25th MPI-Saujana Amateur Championship, three shots ahead of Malaysian Amateur Open Champion Gavin Kyle Green and national player Chan Tuck Soon.
The 18-year-old from Royal Freemantle GC, Perth, notched up 6 birdies at holes 3, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 18 but suffered a double bogey at the uphill 446-yard par-four when his tee shot took a bad kick into a thick stand of trees.
“I putted well. I made some long putts but missed some short ones too,” said Oliver whose drive averages 300+ yards. “I made birdies from 18 and 21 feet at holes 11 and 12 and at the par five, 13th my second shot with an eight-iron went past the pin by 18 feet where I two-putted for birdie. If you hit a bad shot in this course, you’ve lost the hole.”
As for defending champion Gavin, it was an up and down day after posting six birdies and giving five back through bogeys. “I was grinding today, the course was playing harder,” said Gavin who is back for a short visit from the US.
Gavin ended the last two holes with memorable birdies. At the 17th par-four, he drove well over 360 yards, about 35 yards past the green, but managed to chip to within seven feet for a birdie. At the final par five hole, he used a two-iron after driving 350 yards but ended up at the greenside bunker. He got up and down for another birdie.
Tuck Soon posted four birdies against three bogeys for his 71 to share the second spot with Gavin.
RESULTS (Malaysia unless stated):
68 Oliver Goss (Aus); 71 Gavin Green, Chan Tuck Soon; 72 Ryan Peake (Aus), Dulal Hossain (Bang), Chieh-Po Lee (Tai), Shinichi Mizuno (HK); Afif Razif;, Arie Irawan.
73 Lucius Toh (Sing), Jean Baptiste Chaumont; 75 Marc Ong (Sing), Sajib Ali (Bang), Jonar Austria (Phil), Sean Niven, Tan Wei Chean;
76 John Kier Abdon (Phil), N. Thangaraja (S Lanka), Jerome Ng (Sing);
77 Mohamad Diab Alnoaimi (Baharin), Dennis Lim (Sing), Allan Yap.