Harrington opened his round with three straight birdies and finished it off with eagles on the 16th and 18th to sit tied with Marcus Both of Australia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand at the Asian Tour event.
“It was nice to finish eagle, par, eagle,” Harrington said. “That’s a rare thing to do.”
Harrington drove the green on the par-4 314-yard 16th hole and sank an 18-foot eagle putt. He then made a 25-footer at the par-5 18th despite gusty winds that greeted afternoon session players.
The 21-year-old Kiradech, a former junior world champion, had one eagle and seven birdies, while Both – a two-time Asian Tour winner – had a bogey-free round with eight birdies.
“Malaysia is the same as my home,” Kiradech said. “I’ve played well here for the past three or four times.”
Kiradech and Both reached the turn in 31 and were 8 under through 12 holes before the winds picked up at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in Malaysia’s southern Johor state.
Current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Noh Seung-yul of South Korea was two shots back in a tie for fourth place with countryman Lee Sung.
Six players were another shot back in a tie for sixth.