Date: March 21, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Aussies start well in Malaysia

The opening round of the Malaysian Open has been stopped early due to thunderstorms with Thailand&aposs Kiradech Aphibarnrat in front, while three Australians made solid starts. Australian trio Andrew Dodt, Marcus Fraser and Marcus Both all finished their rounds with matching 69s to be in contention. But it was Aphibarnrat, who carded a seven-under 65 to sit on top of the leaderboard when organisers halted play at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Thursday due to thunderstorms with approximately half the field yet to complete their first rounds. Having started on the back nine, Aphibarnrat began with a birdie before a bogey on the 12th took him back to even-par. The 23-year-old Thai did not produce another bogey, however, firing birdies on the 14th, 15th, 17th, third, fourth and fifth holes to give him a one-shot lead over Denmark&aposs Anders Hansen at the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event. The 42-year-old Dane also started on the back nine and was just one-under halfway through his round. An eagle on the par-four second hole kick-started Hansen&aposs opening round before finishing with three consecutive birdies to reach six-under. Hansen is tied for second with Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari of Italy, France&aposs Gregory Bourdy and Scotland&aposs Scott Jamieson (through 10 holes). Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and China&aposs Wu Ashun are at four-under through 11 and 12 holes respectively. World number three Luke Donald of England opened with a disappointing 74 in his Malaysian Open debut. Play is set to resume on Friday with the rest of the opening round to be completed first before the second round gets underway.