France’s Grégory Bourdy was the man to catch during the early stages of the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.
The 30 year old, who won the last of his three European Tour titles four years ago, birdied five of his first seven holes to set a blistering early pace.
At five under par Bourdy – second at last month’s Africa Open – was one ahead of Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Korean Sung Lee and local favourite S Murthy.
Lee and Murthy were both 12 holes into their opening rounds, while Molinari recovered from a bogey at the 12th – his third – with five birdies in the next six holes to turn in 32.
The Philippines’ Angelo Que, Dane Anders Hansen, last week’s fourth-place finisher Kiradech Aphibarnrat and English trio David Howell, Matthew Baldwin and Mark Foster were tied for fifth on three under.