Australian Robert Allenby fired a flawless 63 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the $6.1 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia on Thursday.
The 40-year-old sank eight birdies in a bogey-free round to lead Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas on a sweltering day at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
“I started the day with some good early putts and hit the ball well today and overall I’m very happy with today’s result,” said Allenby, who was terrorised by a monkey at the course during practice earlier in the week.
“My iron play was good today and more importantly I made some good putts. I’ve been working hard on that. My game is there, it’s just the focus now.”
Swede Fredrik Jacobson also handed in a bogey-free card after notching four birdies and an eagle on the par-four 15th. His 65 left him in outright third at the U.S. PGA Tour co-sanctioned event.
Former British Open winner Stewart Cink was the best of the four major champions in the field, carding a four-under 67 to be joint seventh with fellow Americans Scott Stallings and Bo Van Pelt.
Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open winner, is eight off the pace after an even-par 71, one better than three-times major champion Vijay Singh.
Former U.S. Open and Masters winner Angel Cabrera is 10 behind Allenby after cobbling a two-over 73 following a horror front nine that threatened to derail his tournament.
The Argentine double-bogeyed the fourth and triple-bogeyed the ninth to reach the turn in 40 before steadying with three birdies on the way back to the clubhouse.