Thursday, 18 February 2016
Nathan Holman  (Getty Images)
Nathan Holman (Getty Images)

Nathan Holman continued his brilliant start to the 2016 season as he set the clubhouse target on day one of the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia.

The 24 year old had played just 15 European Tour events coming into the new season but claimed a maiden win in his homeland at the Australian PGA Championship and went on to secure two top 40 finishes on the Desert Swing.

A week's rest followed but he showed no signs of rust at Royal Selangor Golf Club, posting an unblemished opening seven under par 64 to sit on top of the leaderboard, a shot ahead of Filipino Angelo Que.

Thai Prom Meesawat was then a further shot back alongside South Korea's K.T. Kim and Englishman Richard Bland.

The European Tour International Schedule is in Malaysia for the 18th consecutive season, with the Kuala Lumpur layout hosting a tournament for the second time after the 2002 Malaysian Open.

Holman started on the tenth on Thursday and made a birdie on his opener before a hat-trick of gains from the 13th saw him turn in 32.

Meesawat, playing in the group ahead of Holman, also turned in 32 with birdies on the tenth, 11th, 15th and 16th.

Both men took advantage of the gettable par five third and then also both secured birdies on the fifth with Holman putting his wedge approach to three feet.

Que had started his round on the first and had gains on the fifth, seventh, eighth, 11th, 13th and 14th before briefly taking the lead on his own at the next. But he dropped a shot on the 16th and when Meesawat found trouble off the tee on the par three seventh, the leading group was down to two.

Holman then made a gain on the ninth, his final hole, courtesy of a 20-foot putt to move ahead.

Bland, searching for a first win in his 378th event, was flawless in his 66 with birdies on the third, tenth, 14th, 15th and 18th.

Thailand's Thitiphun Chuayprakong overcame a double bogey on the second to record a four under par 67 and sit alongside India's Gaganjeet Bhullar, who had two bogeys.

English duo James Morrison and Robert Rock were then at three under alongside home favourite Kenneth De Silva, Taiwan's Hsieh Chi-hsien, Indian Rahil Gangjee, Scotland's Stephen Gallacher and Thai Chapchai Nirat.

David Horsey retired from the tournament after nine holes and later announced he was to have a knee operation which will keep him out of action until the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation in April.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FRASER, MarcusAUS18-15
T2TABUENA, MiguelPHI18-13
T2LEE, SoominKOR18-13
T4QUESNE, JulienFRA18-12
T6BLAND, RichardENG18-11

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