Malaysian Open: Lee Westwood leads early in Kuala Lumpur
Last Updated: 18/04/14 7:05am
Lee Westwood of England in action during round one of the 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open
Lee Westwood put jet-lag and another Masters near-miss behind him as he shot an opening round 65 to lead the Maybank Malaysian Open after a shortened first day in Kuala Lumpur.
Play was suspended at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club just before 4pm due to the threat of lightning in the area, and although they started again after 75 minutes some of the later starters will have to return on Friday morning to complete the first round.
Westwood made the long trip to Kuala Lumpur straight after finishing seventh in the Masters at the weekend, his 64th major championship without a win.
First round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated) - Play suspended due to lightning
-7 L Westwood
-6 N Colsaerts (Bel)
-5 M Hoey
-5 R Santos (Por)
-4 J Kruger (Rsa)
-4 J Quesne (Fra)
Click Here for collated scores
Although the 40-year-old missed out again, the world No 36 was still buoyed by recording his best finish of the season and proved his confidence was not misplaced with a seven-under-par 65 to take the clubhouse lead.
"I played well in Houston the week before the Masters and used that momentum going into the Masters," Westwood said. "I played well last week in finishing seventh and I was happy to carry that on today.
"I'm pleased to get off to a good start. It's nice to have a good one and build some momentum for the week."
Starting from the 10th, Westwood's round got off to a slow start with a bogey on the 539-yard par five, but that would be his only dropped shot of the day.
"I didn't make the best of starts but fortunately that didn't set the tone for the day," added Westwood. "I hit it really well and hit it close a lot.
"I had to be patient because I was hitting good putts and they weren't going in. I holed one from about eight feet on my 16th, 25 feet on the second-last hole and a nice 15-footer with a bit of curl on the last. So it was a good round of golf in tricky conditions.
"It's obviously very hot and you have to keep hydrated. The course is soft so it's playing its longest, and the greens are firm. It's testament to how good the construction of the greens are when you consider the rain we've had over the past couple of days. They are still releasing out, which was hard to get your head around."
Ryder Cup team-mate Nicolas Colsaerts was a shot behind after carding eight birdies and two bogeys in his 66, with Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey another stroke back alongside Ricardo Santos after they shot 67.
South African Jbe Kruger, who won on the Sunshine Tour last week, carded a four-under 68 alongside Frenchman Julien Quesne. Scott Jamieson and Massahiro Kawamura are also on four-under but still have a a couple of holes to complete their rounds.
Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who won this event in 2012, could only manage a level-par 72 containing two birdies and two bogeys.