China’s Bo Jin surged to the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club, in Chonburi, Thailand on Thursday.
The Oklahoma State University star started with a bogey but then made an eagle and six birdies to finish on seven-under par 65. That gave him an early two-shot advantage over local hero and the highest-ranked player in the field, world No. 12 Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat, the in-form James Leow of Singapore and Japan’s Ryuta Suzuki.
On a day when preferred lies were in use after an overnight thunder shower, the players took advantage of softer and receptive greens with 49 shooting even-par or better.
It could have all gone horribly wrong for Jin, brother of the 2015 AAC champion Cheng Jin. He was scheduled to be one of the last players to reach Thailand but when he reached Oklahoma City airport, he could not find his name on the passenger list. In the end, he bought a fresh ticket to Los Angeles, which helped him catch his Qatar Airways flight to Doha on time.
Jin Delighted with Opening Round
“It’s hard not to be happy with a 65 after all that. I played great today, and the putter behaved all day. I just wish I can now have three similar rounds,” said Jin, who led at the halfway stage of the championship last year in Dubai Creek Golf & Country Club before finishing tied third.
“I reached here in time for one practice round. I’d have ideally preferred two. And then I made a horrible bogey on the first and I nearly pushed my second shot into the water on the second. It somehow stayed in a bunker and I made a birdie which just changed everything. It was a very important birdie from the bunker.
“It’s just the first round so there is a long way to go but I am delighted with the start.”