Fifty-year-old Love in contention early at CIMB Classic


Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg shot 7-under 65 to grab the lead in the weather-plagued opening round of the CIMB Classic. Rain led to a two-hour suspension of play in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Here’s how things stand entering the second round:

Leaderboard: Rikard Karlberg (-7), Billy Hurley (-5), Angelo Que (-5), Brian Stuard (-5), Davis Love III (-4), Ryan Moore (-4), six others tied at 4 under

What it means: The 78-man CIMB field is a mix of Asian Tour and PGA Tour players, and one of the former has the early advantage. Plenty more recognizable names, however, are close behind. In addition to Love and defending champion Moore, Kevin Streelman and Seung-Yul Noh are three back. Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na and Ryo Ishikawa are in a group at 3 under.

Round of the day: Gotta give it to the leader. Karlberg had five birdies on the front nine and two more on the back. The 27-year-old has won twice on the Asian Tour, but not since his rookie season in 2010. He tied for fifth in April at the European Tour’s Malaysian Open.

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Best of the rest: How about Love? The 50-year-old seems re-energized and it showed on Day 1. He had four birdies, one eagle and a pair of bogeys. The most recent of his 20 Tour victories came in 2008. He last win outside the U.S. came in 1998 on the Japan Tour.

Biggest disappointment: FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel was 3 under through seven holes and then played Nos. 9-11 in 4 over. He finished with an even-par 72. Chesson Hadley was also 3 under through seven, but played his final 11 holes in 6 over for a 75.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can Love hold up? He hasn’t had a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since 2012. With a good start and facing a modest field (and no cut), he might not have a better opportunity to contend than this week.