Sweden’s Karlberg leads by two in Malaysia

Former US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love (50) among an eight-strong group on four under

Sweden's Rikard Karlberg carded a flawless 65 to claim a two-shot lead after the first round of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Thursday.

Karlberg recorded five birdies in a front nine of 31 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and picked up further shots on the 17th and 18th to finish seven under par.

American duo Billy Hurley and Brian Stuard shared second place on five under with Angelo Que of the Philippines, with former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love among an eight-strong group on four under.

Love turned 50 in April and is therefore eligible for the Seniors Tour, but revealed during an afternoon weather delay that he would continue to compete on the PGA Tour for a while yet.


“I’m very blessed that I can play both tours,” Love told www.pgatour.com. “I’m exempt on the regular tour except for the biggest events and I think I am going to stay out here for a little bit longer.

“The Open is at St Andrews this year and I am not in the Players (Championship). I would like to make another run at getting in those events and it’s nice to play on the regular tour if you can still make cuts and compete.

“The goal is to try and at least challenge for a win before I get to 51.”

Spain's Sergio Garcia played his first nine holes in four under par before fading in the sweltering conditions and covering the front nine in 37, the world number four having to settle for a three-under 69. Playing partner Lee Westwood could only return a 72, but had reasons to be cheerful after recovering from a poor start on the course where he won the Malaysian Open on the European Tour in April.

Starting on the back nine, Westwood dropped a shot on his opening hole and ran up a double bogey on the 14th before picking up birdies on the 16th and 18th.

Another bogey on the second dropped Westwood back to two over par, but the former world number one then eagled the par-five fifth.