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  • Malaysian Open, Round One

Faltering Donald well back in Malaysia

ESPN staff
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Luke Donald had a tough time in the opening round © Getty Images
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Malaysian Open leaderboard

Luke Donald had a torrid start to the Malaysian Open, as an opening round of 74 has left him with work to do to even make the cut.

The former world No. 1 was off key for most of his opening round and in truth he never recovered from bogeys on three of his first four holes.

He attempted to get back on track with a birdie at his 10th, courtesy of a chip-in, but a double-bogey at the next saw him fall further back.

Donald had to rely on his scrambling skills to get up and down for a birdie on 14. A par came his way on the following hole, but it was again courtesy of a sand save as a truly awful approach from the middle of the fairway found a bunker.

Donald did end his round on a high with a birdie on 18, but it will be scant consolation as he sits at two-over.

"Today the game was quite tough for me," Donald told European Tour Radio. "It's one of those courses where if you are a little bit off it can get you.

"I did not play the hard holes very well and when I did have opportunities I couldn't take them on the greens.

"It was one of those frustrating rounds where I got very little momentum. It was a nice birdie on the last, so hopefully I can use that as a little bit of a kickstart for tomorrow's round.

"I got off to a slow start, three over after four, and was just hanging on after that. There's a lot of trouble out there and I found too much of it."

Padraig Harrington is another of the big names in action and he fared better than Donald, with five birdies helping him card a three-under 69.

Anders Hansen is well placed at six-under and he can lay claim to shot of the day, with the Dane chipping in for an eagle on the par-four second. Edoardo Molinari, Gregory Bourdy and Scott Jamieson joined Hansen on six-under.

Many of the later starters, Charl Schwartzel among them, will have to complete their first round on Friday as play was cut short on account of thunderstorms in the area.

With a host of players still to finish, the clubhouse lead in Kuala Lumpur is held by Kiradech Aphibarnrat who hit eight birdies in a seven-under 65.

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