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Catch me if you can: Hong Kong’s Jason Hak sets first round pace at PGA Tour China Series event in Beijing

Hong Kong’s Jason Hak Shun-yat continued his recent revival by blazing nine birdies in an eight-under-par first round at the PGA Tour China Series’ Pingan Bank Open on Thursday to set the clubhouse lead at Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing.

Fresh from claiming the biggest result of his professional career at last week’s NewTown KingRun Open in Chongqing, where he secured a tie for second place, the in-form 22-year-old carded just one bogey at the sixth hole after starting on the 10th tee.

Show me the money: Hong Kong’s Jason Hak claims biggest cheque of professional career at PGA China Tour Series event

And with the afternoon starters including current order of merit leader Dou Zecheng from China just beginning their first rounds, Hak leads by three from Finland’s Teemu Putkonen with American duo Jesse Speirs and Benjamin Fox, Chang Yi-keun from South Korea and Japan’s Shota Hayafuji a further shot off the pace.

Eight years after becoming the youngest player ever to make the cut on the European Tour at the 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling, Hak has rediscovered his form and last week’s finish in Chongqing followed a joint-eighth place at the previous week’s Yulongwan Yunnan Open, where he had held a share of the halfway lead.

Hak has now earned RMB149,429 (HK$173,000) in five events this season on the PGA Tour China Series and he currently sits in 15th place on the order of merit.

The circuit will make its first stop outside of mainland China at the Clearwater Bay Open in Hong Kong in November, which is the next event on the PGA Tour China Series calender.