Jet-lagged Finn Golfer off to a Flyer in Malaysia

Rookie Joonas Granberg of Finland during the first day of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters golf event at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club at Shah Alam. Granberg battled through jet lag to set a new course record of 10-under-par 62 in the first round of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia.

The little-known 24-year-old holed out from the fairway for a spectacular eagle on his opening hole, the par-four 10th, to spark a magnificent round which included nine birdies and a bogey at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.

His career-best effort, the lowest 18-hole score on the Asian Tour this season, saw him open up a three-shot lead from South African Tjaart Van Der Walt, who returned a bogey-free 65.

American Berry Henson, winner of the ICTSI Philippine Open, started strongly with a 66 while India’s Jyoti Randhawa, Asia’s number one in 2002, South Korea’s Mo Joong-Kyung and rising Thai star Pariya Junhasavasdikul fired 67s.

Granberg, who improved the previous course mark by one shot, was surprised with his stunning start, especially because he had slept for only three hours the night before because of jet lag.

“My feeling this morning wasn’t like this… This is really nice, an amazing feeling,” he said.

“Yesterday, I didn’t have any energy at all. I was very tired. Today at the range the feeling with the game was good. I’m not tired now but maybe tonight I will be very tired.”

The Finn knows his quest for a maiden Asian Tour title is far from over. “This is my first time leading. I’m going to take it easy. It’s only the first round. I have to play very good in the next three rounds,” said Granberg.

Van Der Walt, who is trying to rebuild his career in Asia after wrist and elbow injuries curtailed his career on the US PGA Tour, sank seven birdies late in the day to lead the chasing pack.

“Putted well for a change,” smiled the big South African. “I’ve not been putting well all year. I’ve been working hard on all aspects of the game and finally I managed to make a few putts.

“I try to keep the wrist and elbow strong. It’s never not in any pain. I play through it. I’m just fortunate to be out here.”

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