Scott Piercy set a torrid pace at the CIMB Classic, opening in 10-under 62. He holds the top spot by three shots over Hideki Matsuyama through Round 1 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia.
What it means: That we are in for another Malaysian shootout. The average winning score in the previous five CIMB Classics is nearly 19 under. Piercy is better than half-way there through 18 holes. However, don’t expect it to be a runaway victory. Last year’s edition is the only one that wasn’t decided by one stroke or in a playoff.
Round of the day: Piercy’s 62. It was one shy of his career low round on the PGA Tour and it’s the first time he’s shot that number since the final round of this event in 2012. This round included six birdies on the 10 par 4s, birdies on each of the four par 5s, and no birdies on the four par 3s. The 36-year-old from Las Vegas has three career PGA Tour wins, including last season’s Barbasol Championship (in which he finished at 19 under).
Best of the rest: Matsuyama had eight birdies and one bogey. His 65 included 11 of 14 fairways hit and 17 of 18 greens hit in regulation. Bradley's round was a bit more erratic. He had seven birdies, one eagle and three bogeys. Smith, meanwhile, had six consecutive birdies to start his second nine.
Biggest disappointment: Gary Woodland. He lost in a playoff in 2013 and finished T-2 last year. He won’t be in the mix this time around, however, after a 3-over 75. The good news: There is no cut in the 78-man field. And he’s not in last place (John Peterson, 80).
Main storyline heading into Round 2: Can Piercy keep it going? He opened in 62 at the 2012 Canadian Open and then fired three consecutive 67s en route to victory. He collected his first Tour title at the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open, when he shot a career-best 61 in the third round. But if he stalls, there is a large pack of pursuers. In addition to Matsuyama and the five players four back, there are eight others knotted at 5 under, including two-time defending champion Ryan Moore.
Shot of the day: Scott Brown aced the 199-yard, par-3 15th. Check it out here. He finished with a 4-under 68 and a plug-in hybrid BMW i8.