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THERE was not much to cheer for on the local front at the CIMB Classic as the two Malaysian golfers in action struggled to find their rhythm at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.

Nicholas Fung emerged the better of the two, finishing the opening round tied for 49th after carding one-over 73. Nicholas had a mixed day as he birdied the first, second and 17th holes but bogeyed the 13th, 15th, 16th and 18th.

The 24-year-old, who qualified for the event by virtue of being the highest-ranked Malaysian on the Official World Golf Ranking, said an overconfident start had ruined his round.

“I think I was too overconfident. It is not that I set high expectations for myself but I felt I could do better on this course and my putting had been good these past few days,” said Nicholas.

“I struggled really badly from the first nine. I just hit it so bad and had a tough time with my iron shots.

“I recovered and did better on the first and second holes and just wanted to finish it quickly as I was playing well but then it rained and I just could not find my rhythm after the break.”

Danny Chia, who is on the comeback trail after undergoing neck surgery in September last year, placed joint 65th on three-over 75. He bogeyed the fifth, sixth and 15th holes.

“I was not swinging that great today. It has been a long time since I did not hit any birdies,” said the 41-year-old.

“I do not think three-over is that bad. I just missed a few shots and did not make any putts.

“The rough was really thick and that was quite tough for me. I am not as strong as I used to be for the time being and struggled to hit the ball near the greens from the rough which led to the bogeys.

“I need to improve on my driving and hopefully, I can do better in the next three days.”

Danny’s career came close to a premature end last year after he suffered a serious neck injury that had left his right arm temporarily paralysed.

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