China Masters. Two Tied at the Top

White Dragon Golf

 

Rhein Gibson and Daniel Woltman are tied a the  top of the Nanshan China Masters leaderboard at Nanshan International Golf Club.

Nanshan China Masters Nanshan China Masters

Aussie Rhein Gibson and Daniel Woltman from America / One Asia

Both Rhein and Daniel shot -4 under par 67 in the first round of the Nanshan China Masters to take a one shot lead in the tournament.

Rhein made the cut in this year’s Open championship and played the third round with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth and was happy to make a sold start here after a lay-off period;

“That experience has really helped my confidence. I have spent the last five weeks at home with the wife so it was a bit hard to get going but I made a solid start.”

Local favorites China’s Li Hao-tong and Zhou Guo-wu, along with Nick Gillespie from New Zealand and Australian Adam Stephens finished a stroke behind on -3 under par, shooting 68.

Li Hao-tong is just 19 years old and a rising star, who stormed to an eight-stroke triumph in the Henan Open on the PGA TOUR China Series two weeks ago;

“I know this course well as I have been practicing here for one year as part of the national team. I have met many old friends in Nanshan and that has helped me to play well.”
“In the practice round and on Pro Am day I didn’t play that well but it came together today and I believe I can move up in the coming three days.”
Another young Chinese player, 15 year-old amateur Guan Tianlang, who made the cut in last year’s US Masters, fired a +1 over par 72, while reigning OneAsia Champion Matt Griffin from Australia shot a +2 over par 73.

BMW NZ Open Champion Jake Progresses to Pro

Jake Higginbottom

Jake Higginbottom / Getty Images

BMW  NZ Open Champion Jake Higginbottom has suddenly decided to progress from Amateur status to Professional following his amazing win at the Clearwater Resort in Christchurch on Sunday. Jake, who could not collect the first prize of $A80,000 on Sunday, originally said he would not rush into professional golf, and would probably turn Pro at the end of next year. I guess his 67 in the final round, withstanding all the pressure from the professionals trying to chase him down, and the lure of all the money available for him to play for has grabbed his attention. Jake’s victory has earned him a two-year exemption on OneAsia Tour and also the PGA Tour of Australia, he also gets automatic entry into the second round of the 2013 US PGA and European PGA Tour qualification schools. The possibilities for him, if he plays well are endless, Jake said he felt comfortable with the move to the professional ranks;

“I’ve discussed this with my team and we’re all very comfortable with the move. I feel that the time is right as I now have playing opportunities in the professional ranks. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to starting my pro career.”

Jake will play his  first event as a professional at the NSW PGA Championship this week at Mt Broughton Golf and Country Club. Golf Australia director Brad James is pleased that their performance program has produced such a talent;

“This is great news for Jake and exactly what Golf Australia and the State Associations strive to achieve in taking players to the next level. Jake has worked hard over the last 12 months and we’re pleased to see him make the next step in his career.”

We wish Jake well in his career as a professional golfer.

One Asia Tour, High 1 Resort Open.American Jason Kang Leads.

 

Jason Kang

Jason Kang

 American Jason Kang made the best of his One Asia invitation on Thursday to take the lead after the first round of the 2012 Charity High1 Resort Open, firing a -6 under-par 66 that left him a shot clear of Australian Matthew Griffin and Korean Kim Bong-jin.

Jason finished 20th at One Asia Q-School in January and is playing this week courtesy of a One Asia Tour invitation, he said of his opening round;

” It was a patient round, the putts rolled in so it was a pretty good round. I’m pretty pleased with the effort. I practiced pretty hard and worked on my game a lot before coming here. I have a game plan and I’m just going to stick with it. Let’s see where that puts me.”

Mathew Griffin had his most lucrative year on tour in 2010 when four top-ten finishes in a row saw him end the season in seventh place on the Order of Merit. Mathew also put his good performance down to practice;

“It’s great to get off to a good round and being bogey-free is that much nicer, the game has been coming along very nicely. Hopefully I’ll get a win soon.”

Kim Bong-jin, who is sponsored by the tournament hosts, shared second place with Mathew, and is seeking his first tournament win.

He said he tried hard today;

” I tried very hard today because we are playing at High1 and they are big supporters.”

The tournament favorite, Kim Bi-o, winner of two events on OneAsia this year and the Order of Merit leader, finished level par for the day following his return to the tour after a spell in the United States.

Grant Fox of New Zealand  can claim to have won two National Open titles in his first year as a professional, the Fiji Open and Tahiti International Open, two South Pacific tropical paradises where he could combine professional golf with his love of surfing. Grant  made his first start on OneAsia on Thursday at the Charity High1 Resort Open  Gangwon-do province.

” It has been a fantastic start, I’m really enjoying life as a professional.”