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Friday, 19 March 2010
Maybank Malaysian Open - Round One  (Getty Images)
Maybank Malaysian Open - Round One (Getty Images)

Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul fired a sensational first round ten under par 62 to edge ahead of Alexander Noren for the clubhouse lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The 17 year old enjoyed an excellent start, holing a 45 foot birdie putt at his opening hole, the tenth, but it was playing partner Noren who set the pace for much of the morning after opening with four consecutive birdies at Saujana Golf and Country Club's Palm Course.

But Noh kept in touch with the Swede and eventually overhauled him with an eagle at the par five seventh and a birdie on the eighth, his ninth of the day.

The lone blemish on the Korean's round was a bogey on the par three fifth but the youngster had much to smile about after taking a one stroke lead over Noren midway through the opening round.

"I didn't make any mistakes and I putted really well to post a good score," said Noh, who won the Midea China Classic and had three runner-up finishes on his debut season on the Asian Tour last year.

"I'm happy but you don't win a tournament on the first day.

"The eagle on seven was pretty special but with a ten under, every moment was a highlight."

Noren had nine birdies in his bogey free 63 and Noh admitted that the Swede's good form motivated him to play just as well.

"He played well at the start of the round," said Noh, an admirer of KJ Choi and Australian Adam Scott.

"I wasn't thinking of beating him but I just tried to catch him during the round. He pushed me along."

Noren, who has yet to win on The European Tour, was impressed by the form of the teenager.

"He is unbelievable," said the 26 year old Swede. "Our first hole was the tenth and he hit his tee shot way right and I thought to myself he might be a little bit nervous.

"Next thing I know he knocks it on the green and makes the putt for birdie. Obviously he wasn't too nervous.

"He was just unbelievable. I seemed to be one ahead of him all day but then he birdied four, eagled seven and birdied eight to get one ahead of me."

Having fired a nine over 81 at Saujana two years ago, Noren was much happier with his opening effort this time around.

"I played here two years ago and found it very tough so either I'm getting better or the course is getting easier," he added.

"I had bad memories of this place but I love it now."

Former Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Liang Wen-chong of China and France's Jean-François Lucquin were tied for third place after carding seven under 65s.

It was the perfect response for Liang, who is working his way back from injury.

"That was a good round as I had to pull out of two events in the Middle East last month due to a wrist injury," said Liang, whose round featured nine birdies and two bogeys.

"It's been coming on and off since last year and I'm on medication to try to get it better. It feels alright now and hopefully it'll remain like that for me to capitalise on this good start."

Australia's Adam Blyth was alone in fifth on six under 66, while Rhys Davies of Wales was the leading British contender after firing a 67 to join Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines and local favourite Airil Rizman in a tie for sixth.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KANG, AnthonyUSA18-17
T2MARKSAENG, PrayadTHA18-16
T2RANDHAWA, JyotiIND18-16
T2TUNNICLIFF, MilesENG18-16
T2HORSEY, DavidENG18-16
6MAYBIN, GarethNIR18-15
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