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Jin, Go limit mistakes to reach Asia-Pacific Am lead
Lloyd Jefferson Go (AAC 2018)
Lloyd Jefferson Go (AAC 2018)

SINGAPORE (Oct. 5, 2018) – There was some symmetry to the top of the Asia-Pacific Amateur leaderboard after Friday’s second round: The top four players had rounds of 5-under 67 at Sentosa Golf Club. For Lloyd Jefferson Go and Cheng Jin, that followed an opening 65. The two share the 36-hole lead at 8 under.

Motivated to win the championship again so that he can make a second trip to the Masters – and his first to The Open, next year at Royal Portrush – Jin was happy with the fact that he managed to limit his mistakes in the opening two rounds to just two bogeys. Jin, of China, won this event in 2015 in Hong Kong. Despite extensive Masters preparations, Jin missed the cut at Augusta the following spring.

“The chance of getting back to the Masters motivates me to play better. But I am trying not to think of that in-between the shots. I don’t want to do anything fancy over the next two days and just try and stick to my process,” said the 20-year-old who won a team silver and an individual bronze for China at the recently concluded Asian Games in Jakarta.

“It was a good day. I made some mistakes off the tee but my short game was there for some good recoveries and I am very pleased with that.”

Jin has shown he has game on multiple stages, most notably winning a PGA Tour China event in 2014 when he was just 16. He won the 2016 Players Amateur, which earned him an exemption into the 2017 RBC Heritage, but missed the cut there, too. Jin, however, won PGA Tour China Qualifying School by a stunning 17 shots earlier this year. He is a junior at USC. Go, on the other hand, sprinkled in five birdies with three bogeys. At 23, Go is playing the Asia-Pacific Amateur for the sixth and final time. His T-8 from 2015 stands as the best finish by a Filipino, but he could improve that this week. Go won the Dogwood Invitational in 2017.

“Today was an up-and-down round,” Go said. “I made some mistakes and also made some good saves. The key for the weekend would be to try and find as many fairways as possible so we can get some spin on our approach shots. The greens are firming up and it is becoming harder to hold the ball.”

Zheng Kai Bai, also from China, and Jin-Bo Ha, from Korea, are tied for third after going 66-67 to open the tournament at Sentosa. Sadom Kaewkanjana had the best round of the day, a bogey-free 4-under 66 that bumped him up to a tie for fifth with fellow Thai player K.K. Limbhasut. Kaewkanjana is the top-ranked Asian player in the world at No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Overnight leader David Micheluzzi of Australia carded a 1-over 71 to slip into a tie for seventh place at 5 under alongside Australia’s world No. 9 Min Woo Lee (69), the highest-ranked player in the field.

India’s Rayhan Thomas matched the low round of the tournament (6-under 64 set by Micheluzzi on Thursday) and bounced back into contention at 2 under par, just six shots off the pace.

Information from aacgolf.com used in this report

Results: Asia-Pacific Amateur
1JapanTakumi KanayaJapan150069-69-64-65=267
T2IndiaRayhan ThomasIndia100074-64-65-66=269
T2JapanKeita NakajimaJapan100067-68-67-67=269
4PhilippinesLloyd Jefferson GoPhilippines70065-67-69-69=270
5ThailandK.K. LimbhasutThailand70066-68-68-69=271

View full results for Asia-Pacific Amateur

ABOUT THE Asia-Pacific Amateur

The Asian-Pacific Amateur (formerly known as the Asian Amateur) is the first of a series of worldwide championships put together by a between the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A. The event offers the winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The champion and runner(s)-up earn spots in The Open Qualifying Series for The Open. The event has historically moved throughout the region and has now been held in China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, Korea, and New Zealand.

A field, topping out at 120 players, is selected by the following criteria.

The top two ranked amateur players from each of the APGC member countries plus the four top ranked players from the host country. If there is not a sufficient number of players ranked from that member country, the member country may nominate a player(s) from their country, to be approved by the APGC, to fulfill the two positions eligible from that country.

The remainder of the field will be filled taking the next highest ranked players of APGC member countries, not otherwise qualified. The maximum number of eligible players from any APGC member country (with the exception of the host country) is six. Additional players may be offered at the event's discretion.

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