All the three golfers sharing the spot to join the bunch placed at T14 on the leaderboard.
China’s Xiao Bowen enjoyed one of his best starts this season by posting an opening three-under-par 69 to grab a share of the morning round lead with Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat and Chinese Taipei’s Yeh Yu-chen
Playing under rainy conditions, the Chinese was deeply encouraged by his first round efforts, having only made four cuts in 17 starts on the Asian Tour.
The Chinese, who first came into prominence with his breakthrough win on home soil last year, raced ahead with three birdies for an outward 33.
He dropped a shot on the third hole but recovered quickly with another birdie on four. Xiao extended his advantage to four-under after making another birdie on seven but a closing bogey on the ninth denied him the outright clubhouse lead.
“I was very accurate with my tee shots today and that really helped me with my scores today. It was more satisfying especially playing under such conditions. I played under such conditions last week so I’m mentally prepared for what lies ahead this week,” said Xiao.
Panuphol also had a bright start despite the gloomy weather conditions at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Panuphol, who underwent a Lasik eye surgery recently, mixed his card with four birdies and a bogey to stay in the hunt for his third Asian Tour victory.