CHARL SCHWARTZEL was in sizzling form at the European Tour sanctioned 2012 Malaysian Open with his 8-under 64 giving him a one stroke lead after the first round.
The 2011 US Masters winner admitted to feeding off the good form of his playing partner, fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen, after a stressful Masters week and a 30 hour plane journey.
Oosthuizen bounced back from his Augusta playoff defeat at the hands of Bubba Watson with a 66 to be tied for third.
Alone in second place was India’s Jeev Milkha Singh who posted a very polished 65 at the par 72 Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Richard Green was the best of the Australians with his 69 slotting him at equal 15.
Fellow Aussies on even or better included Scott Hend (70), Kieran Pratt (71) and Marcus Both (72).
The 29-year-old Oosthuizen said he was still feeling confident despite his agonising Masters playoff loss last Sunday.
“We played well. Charl played really well, he could have shot 10, 11-under if he’d wanted to so it’s always great to see him play well and it’s just nice playing together when you’re both playing well,” he said.
“Any tournament where you finish well, you always take confidence out of it. I feel like I’ve been playing well for quite a while now and I just came in here trying to win this event.”
The highest ranked player in the event is world No.7 Martin Kaymer, who recovered from some early setbacks by posting three birdies in the last five holes to finish on two-under 70.
The 2012 Malaysian Open is being broadcast live in Australia on Fox Sports with live coverage of the second round from 4pm to 8pm Friday; 3rd Round, Saturday 1.30pm to 5pm; Final Round, Sunday 1.30pm to 5.30pm.
2012 Malaysian Open Leaderboard