Scott Piercy was delighted to take advantage of his stellar iron play to secure a three-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the CIMB Classic.
The 36-year-old carded 10 birdies in an error-free round to sign for a scintillating 62 in Malaysia and he is well clear of Japan’s exciting youngster Hideki Matsuyama in second place.
Piercy shot five birdies either side of the turn and is in pole position to claim his second PGA Tour title of the year after victory in July’s Barbasol Championship.
The three-time PGA Tour winner finished 25th in last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open as he struggled to convert chances with the flat stick.
But the greens were kind to him at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club with Piercy giving himself plenty of opportunities to shoot a low score with pin-point approach play.
“I made the putts I didn’t last week and got a little lucky as well,” he said. “I only missed three or four greens today so if you got 14 chances, you’re doing pretty good.”
Five players share third place on -6, including Keegan Bradley, Alex Cejka and Jason Gore, while two-time champion Ryan Moore, South Africa’s Branden Grace and Kevin Na are in a group of eight players just a further shot back.
Some big names managed to card a round of 68, with former world number one Adam Scott, Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington all sitting on four-under par, but they may well need Piercy to give them some help if they are to overhaul the runaway leader to claim the spoils in the Far East.