| Arjun Atwal in action during the first round in Kuala Lumpur Thursday. (Reuters)
Kuala Lumpur: Ace Indian golfer Arjun Atwal shot a brilliant nine under-par 62 to share top spot with Fredrik Andersson of Sweden on the opening day of the Malaysian Open Thursday.
Thailand’s Thammanoon Srirot is in third place, one shot clear of South Korean Ted Oh in the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event being played on the Mines Resort course.
Andersson and Atwal’s rounds on a rain-softened layout will not be recognised as a record because the lift-clean-and-place rule was in effect.
The duo recorded identical outward and inward halves of 31 with the Swede looking to clinch a first European Tour victory after some impressive performances last year.
Atwal, who won last year’s Singapore Masters, is keen to record an eighth professional career win. Four of his victories were in India and he earned a full European Tour card for his five-stroke success in Singapore.
“I put myself on the fairways and putted really well,” Atwal said. “This is my fifth straight event and I’m looking forward for a break,” he added.
England's Simon Dyson, who shot a 65, produced one of his best rounds for some time, displaying the form that earned him the 2000 Asian Tour Order of Merit and also 2000 Asian Tour Rookie of Year titles.
Compatriot Lee Westwood, a former Malaysian Open champion, finished soaked in perspiration, but delighted with a 66.
South African Retief Goosen and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, the top two ranked players in Europe, also shot 66.