Alexander Noren Goes Low, Grabs A Two Shot Lead in Malaysia- By Dorian Netolicky on April 14, 2011 22:21 GMT
Sweden’s Alexander Noren tied his career best round on the European Tour shooting an 8-under 64 in the first round at the Maybank Malaysian Open as he looks for his second career win.
That win came back at the 2009 Omega European Masters, but that’s not to say Noren has been an afterthought on the European circuit since. He posted two top-15 finishes in his first three events of 2011 with his best result coming at the Volvo Golf Champions where he finished 8th back in late January.
Noren torched the Kuala Lumpur Golf Club posting 9 birdies and a just a single bogey and he now holds a two shot edge over Italian teenage sensation Matteo Manassero.
Manassero was just one under at the turn on Thursday, but got things rolling on the back as he birdied his last four holes to come in at 6-under.
Much has been made of the lengthy travel undergone by the game’s best to get from the USA to Malaysia following the Masters, but Manassero didn’t qualify for the year’s first major and he should have a full tank over the next days.
The young Italian is coming off his best finish of the season as he made the quarter-finals at the Accenture Match Play championship.
Martin Kaymer, who did make the global trek from Augusta to Malaysia, left a lot out on the course Thursday as he managed to birdie only two of four par-5’s ultimately posting a 2-under 70.
That 70 now makes it six straight rounds where the world number one has failed to break 70 and his slump has now worked its way over three tournaments.
Other than his win in Abu Dhabi and a final’s loss to Luke Donald at the Match Play in Arizona, it’s been an up and down season for the supremely talented German, as the only other top-25 Kaymer’s been able to post was a 24th at the Cadillac Championship.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, made just a single bogey and is tied for 9th after an opening 69, five back of Noren.
This round wouldn’t really be news any other week, but after his epic collapse at the Masters just a week ago such a solid, but not spectacular, opening round shows the resiliency of the 21-year old and his ability to put such a demoralizing performance behind him.
You see guys coming down the stretch with a four-or-five-shot lead, and you think it's easy, but it's not - Rory McIlroy