Kuala Lumpur (Reuters) – American Justin Thomas began his bid for a third CIMB Classic title with a six-under-par 66 to lie three shots behind first-round leader and compatriot Bronson Burgoon on Thursday.
Thomas, the world number four who posted his first two career victories at the CIMB Classic in 2015 and 2016, birdied his last three holes to join 2012 champion Nick Watney, Briton Paul Casey and five others in a share of sixth place.
Burgoon reeled off eight birdies and eagled the par-five 18th for a sizzling nine-under-par 63 to lie one shot ahead of American Austin Cook.
“I drove it well and I putted pretty good, so it was kind of boring golf, but that’s always a good thing,” Burgoon said.
“I chipped in for eagle out of the bunker on my ninth hole, which kind of boosted me, then I kept going.
“It definitely wasn’t flawless golf, but I’ve been playing pretty good.”
Taiwan’s C.T. Pan carded 65 to share third place with Americans Scott Piercy and Billy Horschel.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee made the first hole-in-one of the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, the third of his career, with a nine-iron from 145 yards on the fourth hole.
Defending champion Pat Perez of the United States opened with a two-under 70.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond