Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Australia’s Marcus Fraser and Spain’s Nacho Elvira took a share of the first round lead by returning with matching seven-under-par 65s at the Maybank Championship on Thursday.
Fraser, who won the inaugural Maybank Championship in 2016, surprised even himself with his position on the leaderboard after considering himself as a ‘part-time golfer’ nowadays. Ranked 345th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), the Australian has not broken into the winner’s circle since that victory in Malaysia.
Philippines’ Angelo Que opened his campaign at the US$3 million event in a blistering pace, getting to nine-under after 11 holes.
Two double-bogeys on 15 and 16 knocked him off the perch of the leaderboard but he would finish the round just like the way he started with a birdie to trail Fraser and Elvira by one shot in a share of third place with Austria’s Matthias Schwab and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
Jazz showed why he is leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit with another assured performance.
The three-time Asian Tour winner marked his card with seven birdies and a bogey for an encouraging 66 at the Malaysian showpiece.
South Africa’s Ernie Els, who will captain the International team for this year’s Presidents Cup, signed for a 68 to share seventh place together with seven other players that include India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Australia’s Zach Murray, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung.
Did you know?
– Marcus Fraser won the inaugural Maybank Championship by two shots in 2016.
– The Aussie had ended a frustrating six-year title drought that year when he signed off with a three-under-par 68 for a 15-under-par 279 winning total.
– He finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2016, which is also his highest position on the money list so far.
– Jazz Janewattananond currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He started his season in brilliant fashion by defeating an elite field at the Asian Tour’s season-opener in Singapore in January.
– That victory also saw him break into the top-100 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for the first time in his career.
– He is making his fourth start on the Asian Tour this week and is currently ranked 78th in the world.
– Angelo Que is a three-time winner on the Asian Tour. His last victory on the Asian Tour came at the 2010 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia.
– The Filipino lifted his first title in Japan last year at the Top Cup Tokai Classic. It was his first victory in Japan since he earned his playing rights there in 2014.