KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Ryan Moore from Puyallup had 10 birdies in a nearly blemish-free round to shoot a 9-under-par 63 and take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the CIMB Classic on Thursday.
Moore was coming off a top-10 finish at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last weekend and surged into the lead with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole. He capped the round with another birdie on the 18th after sticking his approach within inches of the hole.
Keegan Bradley had seven birdies to finish two strokes back, and Sergio Garcia was another shot behind at 6 under.
The $7 million tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club was included on the U.S. PGA Tour’s new wraparound season this year, marking the first time the tour has offered FedEx Cup points at a tournament in Asia.
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This has helped attract a top field, including British Open champion Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson and defending champion Nick Watney. Tiger Woods, who tied for fourth place last year, is skipping the Malaysian event.
Mickelson, however, started the wraparound season on the wrong note.
Playing for the first time since the Presidents Cup, he had two errant drives off the tee — one into waist-high foliage, the other into the water — that led to double bogeys and a 1-under 71.
“I’m swinging awful. I’m swinging terribly at the ball,” Mickelson said. “The lead for me right now is irrelevant. It’s so far off that that’s the last thing on my mind because I just don’t know where the ball is going.”
It was also a tough day for Watney, who was paired with Mickelson and shot a 75. Former Husky Richard H. Lee shot a 70. Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor had a 73.
SHANGHAI — Luke Guthrie took only 19 putts in his round of 7-under 65, giving Americans the top three spots on the leaderboard in the BMW Masters.
Only three Americans are in Shanghai for the European Tour event. And one of them is John Daly, playing for the first time in nearly four months since surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right elbow.
Daly relied on knockdown shots to cope with the wind and kept bogeys off his card for a 68. One shot behind was the one American that could have been expected to contend at Lake Malaren — Peter Uihlein, a European Tour member who already has one win this year and is 10th on the money list.
• Defending champion Suzann Pettersen shot a 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Taiwan Championship in Yangmei. Americans Alison Walshe and Irene Cho, France’s Karine Icher and Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall were tied for second.