Duo tied in Singapore

James Morrison and Edoardo Molinari both shot superb 62s to lead after the first round of the Barclays Singapore Open.

England’s James Morrison and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari both shot superb 62s to lead after the first round of the Barclays Singapore Open.

The duo lie on nine under par for the tournament, one shot clear of Korea’s YE Yang, and two ahead of Japan’s Daisuke Maruyama.

26-year-old Morrison carded 10 birdies and only one bogey in his round at the Tanjong Course to equal Molinari, who set the early clubhouse lead at Sentosa Golf Club in this event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.

After reaching the turn four under par, Morrison made four consecutive birdies starting at the 10th and then added another at the 15th before his sole dropped shot of the day came at the par-3 16th after missing the green – though he got that shot right back at the next hole.

Molinari, also playing the Tanjong Course, made most of his gains on the back nine as well, reaching the turn three under before reeling off six birdies that included three in a row from the 12th.

He then finished classily with a beautiful approach to the par-four 18th which gave him another birdie.

“It was a very good round – I missed a few shots out there but the putting was excellent today, which is probably the first good round of putting that I have had in a while,” said Molinari.

“I probably had 25 or 26 putts today but the most important thing was that I holed everything inside 10 feet, which is what you have to do on this course because it is very short and important to make a good score here.

“I would have been happy with five or six under at the start of the day so I am very happy with it.”

Yang, meanwhile, also had a good day, picking up two birdies and an eagle on this outward nine, before picking up four more strokes coming home.

At the last, he pulled his tee shot and left himself a long birdie putt with his approach, but sank it for his 63.

It was his 15-foot eagle putt at the sixth that really got his round going, though.

“Yeah that really kick-started everything,” said Yang. “Very warm today. I had to use a towel quite a few times before I teed off. First few shots I made were quite bad and it was disappointing. But I think it was good that I got all those bad shots out of my system early on so I could capitalise on the later holes. My putter worked very well so overall I cannot really complain.”

Yang isn’t ready to see himself as a contender just yet, though, knowing that he will have to do well on a completely different course on Friday.

“Tomorrow and the final rounds are going to be played on a different course, so it is going to be like a new tournament for me. I’m not thinking of the title just yet,” he added.

The best round of the day on the more diffcult Serapong course belonged to Asian Tour regular JbE Kruger of South Africa – a 65 that leaves him tied for fifth with three others on six under.

English duo Tom Lewis and Oliver Fisher are also well in contention among a large group of players on five under.

Phil Mickelson could do no better than a level-par 71 on the easier Tanjong Course, and he knows he has a lot of work left to do.

“The scoring average on Tanjong is going to be two or three under so level par is not considered a very good round. But you can shoot low scores on the other one as well. It is just a little bit more difficult because it’s a lot longer,” said the American.