England’s Chris Paisley fired an opening-round 65 then endured a lengthy rain delay that saw the first round of the Maybank Championship last until Friday morning in Malaysia.
The round was interrupted by a lightning delay that lasted nearly two hours. It’s been more of the same for Paisley, who is 55-under in his last three events combined.
“It was great and nice to keep the form going,” he said. “I just played really solid, hit it well off the tee so gave myself a lot of wedges and short irons into the greens which were really good and gave myself a lot of birdie chances, couldn’t have gone better.
“It’s very hot and not much wind, so scoring wise it is quite easy but to keep your focus is quite difficult with how tiring the heat is but it is good fun.”
David Horsey was the early leader before Paisley took the course. Starting on the back nine, Paisley hit birdies on 11, 13, 17 and 18 to turn in a 32.
Two of the craziest names on the tour, Phachara Khongwatmai and Nino Bertasio, each shot a 65 on Friday to sit atop the leaderboard at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.
The main headlines of the day belonged to England’s Lee Westwood, who fired a 10-under 62 . Westwood is a two-time winner in Malaysia, including his last Euro Tour victory in 2014. He made 11 birdies and one bogey on the round.
Thailand’s Khonwatmai hit five birdies on the back nine to get the early lead.
“I’m very happy with my score,” the 18-year-old said. “My plan is to shoot under par every day and play against the course.
“I don’t want to think ahead or compare my score to another player. It is only two rounds so the tournament is not over yet. I want to focus day by day and hole by hole.”
Bertasio later tied him with eight birdies and one bogey to reach 11-under.
“It was very easy to be honest,” he said. “I’ve been playing the par fives well so a couple of birdies here and there on the par fours and par threes and here I am at 11 under.
“I have been having fun on the golf course and playing well, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Chris Paisley, the Day One leader, dropped back into a tie for second after carding a 69.