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Golf | Asia

David Lipsky © Gallo Images

Lipsky sets the pace at Johor Open



Asian Tour rookie David Lipsky set the pace at the $2 million Iskandar Johor Open in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, holding the opening round lead at eight-under through 16 holes before a thunderstorm stopped play.

Australia's Unho Park posted a flawless 65 for second place while Korean-American Kevin Na scored 66 to take third at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.

Play was suspended in early afternoon and 84 players will resume their round at 7:15am on Friday.

South Africa's Peter Karmis scored 67 to take a share of fourth place with India's SSP. Chowrasia, the Philippines' Angelo Que and Australia's Darren Beck, who is at five-under through 17 holes at the Asian Tour season-ending event.

Lipsky, a US player who won his maiden Asian Tour title in Cambodia earlier this year, stood on the brink of extending his advantage to two when his tee shot on the par-three eight landed within two feet of the pin.

But he was unable to tap in his birdie putt before horns signalled the suspension of play.

"I had a two-footer for birdie and I was looking to make that and finish the round strong," said Lipsky in comments supplied by the organisers.

"I just made like three pars in a row before the delay so it didn't stop any momentum. I would have preferred to sleep in but you can't do anything about these weather conditions."

Despite putting himself in a good position on the leaderboard after the opening round, Park said he is focused only on securing his Tour card for next season.

"I'm still trying to keep my card, that's the focus. If I'm up there on the last day then it will be fantastic but right now, it will be a bonus if I can be inside the top-60," said Park, who is currently in 66th place on the rankings.

Asian Tour Order of Merit contenders Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Australia's Marcus Fraser are at one-under after 17 holes.

LEADING COMPLETED FIRST-ROUND SCORES:

65 - Unho PARK (AUS)

66 - Kevin NA (USA)

67 - Peter KARMIS (RSA), Angelo QUE (PHI), SSP CHOWRASIA (IND)

68 - Daniel CHOPRA (SWE)

70 - Michael TRAN (VNM), Sukree OTHMAN (MAS), ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN), Sam CYR (USA), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), Ron HARVEY JR (CAN)

Selected Incomplete First-Round Scores:

David LIPSKY (USA) -8 through 16 holes

Marcus FRASER (AUS) -1 through 17 holes

Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) -1 through 17 holes

Jbe KRUGER (RSA) Even-par through 17 holes

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