21 March, 2019: Australia’s Marcus Fraser and Spain’s Nacho Elvira took a share of the first round lead by returning with matching seven-under-par 65s at the Maybank Championship on Thursday. Gaganjeet Bhullar is determined with his consistent game, shot four-under 68 in the first round.
Bhullar shot seven birdies and three bogeys to tie for seventh place and lying three shots behind the lead. Fellow Indian S.S.P Chawrasia trailing behind Bhullar with one shot at T15. Chawrasia shot three-under 69 with six birdies and three bogeys.
Fraser, who won the inaugural Maybank Championship in 2016, surprised even himself with his position on the leaderboard after considering himself as a ‘part-time golfer’ nowadays. Ranked 345th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), The Australian has not broken into the winner’s circle since that victory in Malaysia.
Philippines’ Angelo Que opened his campaign at the US$3 million event in a blistering pace, getting to nine-under after 11 holes.
Two double-bogeys on 15 and 16 knocked him off the perch of the leaderboard but he would finish the round just like the way he started with a birdie to trail Fraser and Elvira by one shot in a share of third place with Austria’s Matthias Schwab and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
Jazz showed why he is leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit with another assured performance.
The three-time Asian Tour winner marked his card with seven birdies and a bogey for an encouraging 66 at the Malaysian showpiece.
South Africa’s Ernie Els, who will captain the International team for this year’s Presidents Cup, signed for a 68 to share seventh place together with seven other players that include India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Australia’s Zach Murray, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung.