Australia's Dodt takes lead in Malaysia golf
Australia's Andrew Dodt fired a nine-under-par 63 on Thursday to take the lead in the opening round of the Malaysia Open, while Japan's Naoki Sekito was in second place two shots back.
Taiwan's Chang Wei-lun was among a host of golfers sharing third place on 66, along with Sweden's Bjorn Hellgren, and Thai duo Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Phachara Khongwatmai.
But it was the three-time Asian Tour winner Dodt who surged into the lead, courtesy of his seven birdies and an eagle. "I managed to birdie the first two holes, and I was away," said Dodt. "It felt quite simple, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens and holed a lot of putts."
Sekito was happy with his 65 after returning from a month off. "It was nice to come back and get off to a good start. You need to keep the ball in play to give yourself birdie chances out there," he said.
It was a disappointing start for South Korean rising star Kim Joo-hyung, who ended the day tied-20th after firing a 69. The 17-year-old is touted one of the favourites to win at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, after good performances at the Singapore and New Zealand opens.
This $1.0 million Asian Tour event is making a return following a four-year absence, even as many sporting events are cancelled worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak. Organisers have taken precautions such as temperature checks for players and spectators.