Charl Schwartzel leads after the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Charl had a sweet round of 64 to top the leaderboard at -8 under par. Jeev Milka Singh is just one shot behind after his first round effort -7 under par for a round of 65.
Louis Oosthuizen, fresh from the US PGA Tour, is tied in third spot, and it was his good play that inspired Charl to his round. Charl turned in 33 after three birdies and a bogey on the back nine.
“Louis and I got off to a good fast start at the beginning and it is always nice when there are a couple of you in the group playing well and pulling each other a long a bit. Louis is playing so well right that it is impressive to watch and helped me on. I felt surprisingly good today. I got a good night’s sleep and woke up this morning before the alarm. The tiredness seems to catch me more in the afternoon than the morning so it felt pretty good. I’ll go back this afternoon and get some rest. Hopefully we can do the same again tomorrow. It is a long way to go and there are a lot of birdie opportunities out there but if I can keep playing the way I did today then I should have a chance on Sunday.”
If Louis Oosthuizen reproduces his Master’s form he will be in contention here come Sunday afternoon. He has recovered from his long haul flight and is raring to go.
“It was a long haul getting here,’ admitted the 2010 Open Champion.” I think me and Charl knew the first round, concentration levels won’t be great, but we did well. I knew the swing was still good. It was just adapting to the weather and the green speed, but I putted beautifully again today and hope to keep it going for the week. I feel like I’m swinging well. I think a lot of times, we’re used to a lot of travel and we adapt quickly. We knew there was always going to be one tough round which is normally the first one and luckily for us, it was early in the morning. We can have a nice rest now. We played well. Charl played really well, he could have shot ten or 11 under if he wanted to. It is great to see him play well, it was nice playing together when you’re playing well.”
Jeev, the 40 year old, was really happy with his days work;
“I’m really happy,” said the three-time European Tour winner. “I had a great start to the round. I hit a three wood to 20 feet and holed that for eagle, that gives you a good push and a jump start. I had a lot of birdie chances. I hit a lot of greens and my shots were close to the flags. I made a lot of putts too. I would take a round like that on this golf course any day.”