Burgoon has 1st-round lead at CIMB Classic, Thomas 3 behind

Scott Piercy of the United States hits out of a bunker on the eighteenth green during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Phoon)
Justin Thomas of the United States of America follows his shot on the tenth hole during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)
Austin Cook of the United States follows his shot on the ninth green during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)
Bronson Burgoon of the United States of America adjusts his cap at the 9th hole during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Phoon)
Defending champion Pat Perez of the United States of America talks to his caddie on sixteenth hole during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Phoon)
Kevin Tway of the United States of America plays a shot on the sixteenth hole during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Phoon)
Paul Casey from England follows his shot on the first hole during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Phoon)
Austin Cook of the United States of America hits off the bunker during round one of the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Tournament Players Club (TPC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Phoon)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Justin Thomas birdied four of his last five holes for a 6-under 66 and was three strokes behind first-round leader and fellow American Bronson Burgoon at the CIMB Classic on Thursday.

Burgoon's 63 on the par-72 TPC Kuala Lumpur West Course gave him a one-stroke lead over Austin Cook. Two other Americans, Scott Piercy and Billy Horschel, and Taiwan's C.T. Pan were another stroke back after 65s.

Thomas was in an eight-way tie for sixth, including 2012 champion Nick Watney, Kevin Chappell and Paul Casey.

"You have to play well here every day or at least get a round like today ... it's what could end up winning me this golf tournament," Thomas said.

"Not having my best stuff and getting around here in 6-under is huge. I just didn't take advantage of a couple opportunities and let a couple go, but kind of found something there those last five holes and was able to at least make a good round."

Burgoon, ranked 162nd, had eight birdies and an eagle. His only bogey came on the par-4 13th.

"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."

Burgoon's best result last season was tied for second at the John Deere Classic. He finished tied for 53rd at the Safeway Open last week.

Defending champion Pat Perez shot 70.

"You know, not bad, 2 under," Perez said. "I could have made some more — I didn't putt as well as I did last year obviously."

Kevin Tway, who won last week's Safeway Open in a playoff, also had a 70.

New Zealander Danny Lee had the first ace of the 2018-19 season by holing out on the par-3 fourth hole. He used a 9-iron from 145 yards for his third career hole-in-one.

Prize money at Kuala Lumpur totals $7million, with $1,620,000 to the winner.

It's the first of three PGA Tour events in Asia. Next week it's the CJ Cup in South Korea followed by the World Golf Championships event in Shanghai.

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf

Must Read

Aid groups warn of crisis as Mongolia hit by...

Dec 21, 2016

Another unusually harsh winter in Mongolia that's decimating livestock and sending temperatures to...

Asian stocks markets retreat after Wall Street...

Dec 23, 2016

Most Asian stock markets have declined in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday after Wall...

China begins to ease its 2,000-year-old monopoly...

Jan 3, 2017

China has started an overhaul of its salt industry, easing a monopoly that has existed in some form...

DEA opens shop in China to help fight synthetic...

Jan 6, 2017

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plans to open a new office in southern China and, at...

Chinese factory makes giant inflatable...

Jan 13, 2017

A Chinese factory has been doing a brisk business selling giant inflatable roosters, some as tall...

Sign up now!

Advertisement