Fri, Oct 29, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Sizzling Barnes fires eight birdies to seize control in Kuala Lumpur


Ricky Barnes fired eight birdies in a flawless 63 to lead the CIMB Asia-Pacific Classic yesterday by a stroke from fellow American Ryan Moore.

The Californian coped best in the searing heat at the PGA Tour’s inaugural event in Southeast Asia, rolling in putt after putt on an impeccable course at Kuala Lumpur’s Mines Resort and Golf Club.

England’s Brian Davis, South Korea’s Charlie Wi and Sweden’s Carl Pettersson are a shot adrift of Moore.

The US$6 million event features only the leading 25 golfers from the PGA Tour’s FedExCup standings, along with the top 10 players from the Asian Tour and five sponsor exemptions.

“I hit a lot of fairways and greens. In fact, I only missed my first green on hole 18,” Barnes said.

“I made it a very stress-free round on myself by putting from about 20 to 25 feet. I played really well. Hopefully I can keep the week going. It felt kind of hot after nine holes, but I was prepared for the weather,” he said.

“I drank a lot of water before I went out and that helped keep up the energy levels,” he said.

Barnes, whose best finish this year was third at the Memorial tournament in Ohio in June, is gunning for his maiden PGA Tour win.

Meanwhile, Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee, compatriot Parija Junhasavasdikul and Singapore’s Mardan Mamat proved Asia’s mettle against the quality field by hitting credible 66s to be three off the pace.

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