Padraig Harrington is just four off the clubhouse lead held by Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, whose 65 continued the excellent form of last week when he was fourth in the Avantha Masters.
The former Open winner is three under after a 69 on day one of the Malaysian Open, while Peter Lawrie is three off the lead on four under.
Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Denmark’s Anders Hansen and France’s Gregory Bourdy were a shot behind the leader after rounds of 66, while Scotland’s Scott Jamieson was six under through 10 holes before play was suspended.
Molinari, who changed coach in December after missing three months following wrist surgery, has not made a halfway cut in five events this season, but carded eight birdies and two bogeys in his round.
“It was a good round of golf finally,” said Molinari, who is now coached by Sean Foley, who works with Tiger Woods and Justin Rose among others.
“Sean is making big changes but I needed them I think because the way I played last year especially I didn’t like it.
“I like what Sean says, I have a lot more knowledge about what I’m doing on the course and as soon as I miss a shot I know how to fix it.”