The 31-year-old American mixed eight birdies and an eagle with a single bogey to take a one-shot lead at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
American Pat Perez returns to Malaysia to defend the title he won at the US$7 million (RM28.7 million) CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur (TPC KL) past year. I've played so well on this course and have a good record over here. Paul Casey, who went 1-1-1 at the Ryder Cup, also had a fine first round and shot a 66 to match Thomas. "I think I have an opportunity to play well and hopefully knock off a win or two". The others are the in-form Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri - who has been here before and was T-3 in 2015 - and Rahil Gangjee, who did play on the Web.com Tour in the United States, but it is in Asia that he is making his PGA Tour debut. I know what to do, I know the golf course, the weather, how far the ball's going to go, the pin positions etc.
"It is such a pleasure to be back in Malaysia again".
As covered in the primer, the CIMB Classic is a no-cut event held at the TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. "My career started here and it's nice to be back home again", said Kiradech.
Sharma said, "I've seen this event on television for so many years, and obviously Anirban (Lahiri) won the Malaysian Open here a few years ago so I've seen this golf course a lot on television and today was my first look at it".
"Then I'm like, oh, maybe I'm not going to play". After Malaysia, he also has a spot in next week's CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in South Korea and the World Golf Championships event in Shanghai over the next fortnight.
While Kiradech has his PGA Tour card in hand for the 2018-19 season, India's Shubhankar Sharma, who is in the CIMB Classic field as one of the top-10 players from the Asian Tour, is eager to get his way to the world's premier circuit. He finished tied for 53rd at the Safeway Open last week. If I just play well in these three events, have consistent finishes, I feel like I'll get off to a very good start towards securing my PGA Tour card and it will obviously help my world ranking. Defending champion Pat Perez has won twice on Paspalum in two years after victories here in 2017 and in the 2016 OHL Classic in Mexico.
Q: How do you assess your 2018-18 PGA TOUR season? Looking back, it was really special for me to win the CIMB Classic, as it put the exclamation point to a great 2017.