Allenby preps for Prez Cup, leads Malaysia


SELANGOR, Malaysia – Australia’s Robert Allenby shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas after the first round of the Asia Pacific Classic, the second-year event sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour.

Allenby birdied four of the first six holes and three of the last four in his bogey-free round at The Mines Resort and Golf Club.

“I got away with a nice par on the 18th. I made lots of nice putts and hit the ball really well all day,” Allenby said. “I had just one wayward tee shot at the last, but I made a good par to save at the last.”

Winless since the 2009 Australian Masters, Allenby was a captain’s pick for the upcoming Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne – the 40-year-old Australian’s home course.

“I’ve been playing well for a while, but I just haven’t really put the scores on the board,” Allenby said. “I’ve been making a lot of birdies, but a few others have been slipping in there. So to have a bogey-free round and to shoot 8 under around here is a great score.”

He won his first pro title in Malaysia in the 1992 Perak Masters.

Vegas birdied the final four holes.

“I had a really good round and hit the ball well,” said Vegas, the PGA Tour rookie who won the Bob Hope Classic in January. “I felt like I hit a lot of good putts as well. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going for the next three days.”

Fredrik Jacobson opened with a 65, and Bo Van PeltCameron Tringale and Jimmy Walker were another stroke back.

Mark WilsonStewart CinkJeff OvertonScott Stallings and John Senden were four strokes back at 67.

Defending champion Ben Crane shot a 69.

The winner will receive $1.3 million from the $6.1 million purse.