Robert Rock leads by one stroke

Robert Rock of England holds a one shot lead following the first round of the Malaysian Open on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Kuala Lumpur:Temperatures were high in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday as the first round of the Malaysian Open got underway at the Saujana Golf and Country Club. Some of the favourites seemed to find the conditions tough. Englishman Lee Westwood conceded five bogeys against just two birdies to end the day nine strokes off the pace, with a three-over 75. Westwood won this event in 1997 but will battle to make the half way cut following Thursday's disappointing performance. Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke fared little better. He finished with a 74 - two-over - and will also have to produce a brilliant round on Friday if he is to make the cut. Clarke has been struggling recently, having dropped out of the world's top fifty this week for the first time since 1994. Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand has won the Malaysian Open twice and stayed in contention on Thursday with a 71 round. He shot four birdies, one bogey and a double bogey and will be the man to watch. Korean Jong Yul Suk meanwhile produced one of the shots of the day - a beautifully judged chip at the 4th. He eventually finished with a 71. Indian rookie SSP Chowrasia was one of the biggest stars of the day. He shot seven birdies for a five-under 67 at this tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours. England's Robert Rock however was the man at the top of the leader board following the first round. He shot a six-under-par 66, also with seven birdies to take a one shot lead into Friday's second round.

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