Daily Wrap-up: Round 1, CIMB Asia Pacific Classic

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October 27, 2011
Staff and wire reports

SELANGOR, Malaysia -- Australia's Robert Allenby shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas after the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia, the second-year event sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Asian Tour.

Allenby birdied four of the first six holes and three of the last four in his bogey-free round at The Mines Resort and Golf Club.

"I got away with a nice par on the 18th. I made lots of nice putts and hit the ball really well all day," Allenby said. "I had just one wayward tee shot at the last, but I made a good par to save at the last."

Winless since the 2009 Australian Masters, Allenby was a captain's pick for the upcoming Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne -- the 40-year-old Australian's home course.

"I've been playing well for a while, but I just haven't really put the scores on the board," Allenby said. "I've been making a lot of birdies, but a few others have been slipping in there. So to have a bogey-free round and to shoot 8 under around here is a great score."

He won his first pro title in Malaysia in the 1992 Perak Masters.

Vegas birdied the final four holes.

Shot of the Day: Vegas

In the opening round, Jhonattan Vegas sticks his approach on No. 18 within inches of the cup.

"I had a really good round and hit the ball well," said Vegas, the PGA TOUR rookie who won the Bob Hope Classic in January. "I felt like I hit a lot of good putts as well. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going for the next three days."

Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson opened with a 65, and Americans Bo Van Pelt, Cameron Tringale and Jimmy Walker were another stroke back.

"I hit a perfect bunker shot," said Jacobson, the Travelers Championship winner this summer for his first PGA TOUR title. "That was a bit of a nice one to get. It was 25 yards, with the bunker a little left of the green. If I could have upped-and-downed it from there I would have been really happy."

Mark Wilson, Stewart Cink, Jeff Overton, Scott Stallings and John Senden were four strokes back at 67.

Defending champion Ben Crane shot a 69.

The winner will receive $1.3 million from the $6.1 million purse.

Notebook: CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia

Weather: Partly cloudy and humid, with the high reaching 90. Winds NE at 4-8 mph. There was heavy rain for 20 minutes in the early afternoon that did not result in a stoppage of play.

Robert Allenby

• Going back to last year's tournament, Allenby has played 31 consecutive holes without a bogey. In the third round of the 2010 CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, he made a bogey on the par-4 fifth hole. That was the last time he hasn't had either a birdie or par at The Mines Resort and Golf Club. To conclude last year's tournament, Allenby had nine birdies and 22 pars during that 31-hole stretch on his way to a tie-for-fifth finish. In Thursday's first round, the Australian went bogey-free again, with four front-nine birdies and four more on the back nine.

• In his last four rounds at The Mines (second, third and fourth rounds of 2010 and first round of 2011), Allenby is 23 under.

• In his PGA TOUR career, Allenby has either held the first-round lead outright or shared it eight times. His last opening-round lead came at this year's Northern Trust Open outside Los Angeles, CA. He started with a 67 at Riviera Country Club and eventually tied for fourth.

• Allenby's low PGA TOUR round is the 62 he shot at the 2002 Air Canada Championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He's had three 63s in official rounds: at the 2007 Humana Challenge, the 2002 Buick Challenge and the 2002 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational

• In the just-completed PGA TOUR season, Allenby finished 55th in the final FedExCup standings and was 60th on the money list ($1,452,567).

• Allenby won his first professional tournament in Malaysia. He captured the 1992 Perak Masters a year after turning pro.

• Allenby last won in 2009, when he picked up two victories late in the season -- at the 2009 Nedbank Challenge in South Africa and at the Australian PGA in Australia.

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Jhonattan Vegas

• Vegas, a rookie, left himself in fine position following the first round, with his 7-under 64. Vegas, a Venezuela native, finished his round with a flourish, birdieing his final four holes, including a birdie on No. 18 that he almost holed for eagle. He settled for birdie with a tap in of less than a foot. Early in the PGA TOUR season, Vegas, who graduated to the PGA TOUR from the 2010 Nationwide Tour, won the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs, Calif.

• Vegas' lone scorecard blemish was a bogey on the par-4 fourth hole. He had eight birdies on the day.

• In his last start, Vegas had his first top-five PGA TOUR finish since January. Earlier this month, at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, Vegas opened with a 63 and followed with rounds of 67-69-68 to tie for fifth. His last top-five performance came at the Farmers Insurance Open (tied for third) outside San Diego.

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Fredrik Jacobson

• Entering the second round, Jacobson is in third place following an opening-round 65. He was the only player to eagle the 292-yard, par-4 15th Thursday, holing out his bunker shot from 20 yards. A year ago, Ben Crane, the 2010 champion, eagled the 15th in the first and final rounds.

• Jacobson hasn't had a round this low since his victory at the Travelers Championship in June. In that tournament outside Hartford, Jacobson shot rounds of 65-66-63-66 to win his first PGA TOUR title.

Cameron Tringale

• Second-year PGA TOUR pro Cameron Tringale earned his top TOUR finish at the Greenbrier Classic, when he tied for fourth. Playing with Tommy Gainey in the first pairing of the day, Tringale is tied for fourth, with Jimmy Walker and Bo Van Pelt, at 5-under 66.

• Like Vegas, Tringale's lone bogey during his 5-under 66 came at the par-4 fourth hole.

• Despite not winning in 2011, Tringale had a breakout year after he had to go back to the Qualifying Tournament following a disappointing rookie TOUR campaign in 2010. This season, Tringale made 23 cuts in 32 starts and finished 63rd in the FedExCup standings and 68th on the money list ($1,327,807).

Jimmy Walker

• Walker entered the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic after having enjoyed his finest PGA TOUR season. He finished 50th in the FedExCup, placed 67th on the final money list and made six consecutive cuts to end the season. This start in Malaysia is his first event since the BMW Championship in mid-September. He is tied for fourth after a bogey-free, 5-under 66.

Bo Van Pelt

Bo Van Pelt's good play continued Thursday when he opened the tournament with a 5-under 66, that included three birdies and an eagle during his bogey-free round. Despite a slow start to his 2011 season that saw him miss four of his first five cuts, Bo Van Pelt's game rounded into form, with five top-10s and appearances in all four PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup events. He tied for 23rd in the FedExCup standings and was 29th on the money list.

Miscellaneous notes

• Defending champion Ben Crane opened with a 2-under 69. By making birdie on the 17th hole in the first round, he kept his streak alive of never shooting a round in the 70s at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia. Last year, Crane won with rounds of 67-64-66-69.

• Two-time major championship winner Angel Cabrera made a nice recovery after opening with a 5-over 40 on the front nine, that included a double bogey (No. 6) and a triple bogey (No. 9). He had three birdies and six pars on the back nine to finish at 2-over 73. He is tied for 45th going into Friday.

Vijay Singh, who is looking for his fourth professional victory in Malaysia, shot an opening-round 72 and is tied for 41st. Singh's previous victories in Malaysia, where he also spent time working as an assistant golf course professional, came at the 1984 Malaysian PGA Championship and the 1992 and 2001 Malaysian Opens.

Spencer Levin counted an eagle, a birdie, a bogey and a double bogey on his scorecard on his way to a 1-under 70.

• Last year, Ricky Barnes shot an 8-under 63 to take the first-round lead. He tied for 11th. Barnes is again playing this year, and he opened with 2-under 69 and is tied for 19th. Barnes' 63 is the tournament's 18-hole record, matched Thursday by Robert Allenby.

• Siddukur, of Bangladesh, was the low Asian Tour player Thursday. He shot back-to-back 34s to finish with a 3-under 68 and his tied for 12th with six other players. Siddukur has one Asian Tour victory, the 2010 Brunei Open. This season, he won on the Asian Developmental Tour, the Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters.

• The two Malaysians in the field, Shaaban Hussin and Danny Chia shot 70 and 71, respectively. Hussin is making his second CIMB Asia Pacific Classic appearance, qualifying in both years. In 2010, Hussin finished 40th in the 40-man field.

• If players weren't making birdie on the par-5 third hole at The Mines Resort and Golf Club on Thursday, they were definitely losing strokes to the field. Of the 48 players in the field, 28 made birdie. Bo Van Pelt had the lone eagle, while Chez Reavie and David Gleeson recorded the only bogeys. The stroke average there Thursday was 4.416.

• Thursday eagles came courtesy of Charley Hoffman (No. 17), Fredrik Jacobson (No. 15), Spencer Levin (No. 17) and Bo Van Pelt (No. 5).

• The first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win seven of 42 stroke-play events on TOUR this year, most recently Justin Rose at the BMW Championship.

• Thirty-two players (out of 48) posted sub-par rounds Thursday, with 40 posting par-or-better rounds.

Bogey-free rounds:

Robert Allenby (63), Fredrik Jacobson (65), Jimmy Walker (66), Brendon de Jonge (68) and Kyle Stanley (68).

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