Unheralded Wafiyuddin Manaf shared the first-round lead with Paul San when they carded five-under 67s to lead veteran Danny Chia and Kemarol Baharin by one stroke in the Vios Cup at the scenic and challenging Templer Park Country Club in Rawang near here today.

Lying joint fifth a further stroke behind were a bunch of rising stars that included Galven Green, Shahriffuddin Ariffin, Nick Ang and amateur Afif Fathi while two more amateurs Nasrullah Zulkifli and Lim Beng Keat shared joint ninth spot with Danial Faidz bunched at two under.

The Vios Cup is the fourth leg of the Toyota Tour presented by UMW Toyota Motor.

Wafiyuddin started off the back nine with a birdie on the Par 5 12th but bogeys on the 13th and 15th left him at one over after nine holes.

“I was amazed that I could come back with a 30 on my second nine, especially as I had limited time to practice and prepare for this event,” he said.

Wafiyuddin added that shooting a 67 was a confidence booster and swas hoping this would carry on until the final round on Thursday. “Today I wasn’t solid enough off the tee but I was making putts from everywhere.”

Paul, whose last victory was his first, at the PGM Northport Championship last year, was happy he didn’t make a single bogey. “It was a solid round. I was focused on gaining shots and not giving any back to the course.

“Since returning from an ADT event in Phuket I’ve been working on my short game. Getting up and down after missing greens is doing wonders for my confidence. I’m happy with where my game is right now and I’m just hoping the putts will fall more often.”

Danny, who had won here in 2015 at the Tournament of Champions, said he wasn’t hitting it that great. “But my short game made up for the rest. I made quite a few long putts today and chipped in twice, which was at 12 for eagle, and 17 for birdie.”

Fresh off two Japan Senior Tour events, the 51-year-old found the greens tricky and that one had to be careful where to place the approach shots on certain greens.

“I try to give myself more uphill putts because the downhill ones tend to be a little sneaky,” said Danny.

“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully results will show,” he added.

R. Nachimuthu, the resident professional at TPCC, finished the day at one-under to tie at 12th position with Toyota Tour leading money earner Ervin Chang and Daeng Abdul Rahman. The veteran said he was hitting the ball well today on his way to three birdies and two bogeys, but didn’t make enough putts.

Meanwhile, Genevieve Ling led the Ladies division with an even par 72, leading by one stroke from amateur Amalia Shahzan.

Geraldine Wong who is making her professional debut and Liyana Durisic were a further stroke behind at 74.

Leading Toyota Tour money earner Aretha Pan had a bad day at the office, shooting six bogeys against a lone birdie.

“I felt I was unlucky with my approach shots and missed six greens. My chipping was off and I couldn’t get up and down most of the day. Hopefully I’ll play better tomorrow,” said Pan.

Day One Scores (Men)
67 (-5) Paul San, Wafiyuddin Manaf
68 (-4) Danny Chia, Kemarol Baharin
69 (-3) Galven Green, Afif Fathi (a), Nick Ang, Shahriffudin Ariffin
70 (-2) Nasrullah Zulkifli (a), Lim Beng Keat (a), Danial Faidz
71 (-1) R Nachimuthu, Ervin Chang, Daeng Abdul Rahman
72 (E) Thaznim Hamdan, Tony Lam, Ryan Fernandez, Izzat Safuan, Kim Leun Kwang, Rizal Amin

Day One Scores (Ladies)
72 (E) Genevieve Ling
73 (+1) Amalia Shahzan (a)
74 (+2) Geraldine Wong, Liyana Durisic (a)
75 (+3) Winnie Ng (a)
76 (+4) Jocelyn Chee
77 (+5) Aretha Pan
78 (+6) Durriyah Damian

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