Shaifubari Muda took the first round lead of the season-ending PGM Maybank Players’ Championship after firing an impressive five-under 66 in the RM275,000 Professional Golf of Golf Malaysia (PGM) tournament today.

The seasoned pro steadied an unsettled stretch midway today to card a round that left the field two strokes off the pace at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Young Irfan Yusoff, who had a breakthrough victory on Tour earlier in the season, and multiple winner Kemarol Baharin, were second with matching 68s, while Khor Kheng Hwai, who finished runner-up at the PGM Darulaman Closed Championship over the weekend, was fourth after a two-under 69.

Akhmal Tarmizee, Shahizul Ahmad, Lam Yu Shuen, Rahizam Ramli, Abel Tam and Lim Eng Seng were the other players under-par on a day in conditions that were made for low scoring.

Pleased with his opening effort that gave early indication of wanting to close out the season with a strong finish, Shaifubari said: “I started the tournament well and my intention will be to go through it like that.

“I start the round well and was three-under for my first nine (the second nine) but gave two shots back with a double-bogey at the par-3 5th hole before I steadied the ship and played consistently after that. But there is still a long way to go and I will try and do the best I can.

“I know that the competition on Tour is tougher these days than it used to because the standard has improved but I will give it a good shot and see where it all ends up.”

Shaifubari last won on Tour when he triumphed at Harvard in 2012 and conceded that he would welcome another success on the domestic circuit. The way he started suggests he in on course for just that.

The PGM Maybank Players’ Championship, which ends on Saturday, will be the curtain down on the PGM Tour 2015 Calendar, which this season had a record number of 44 tournaments with a total prize money of RM6.64 million.

Leading First Round Scores

66 -5 Shaifubari Muda

68 -3 Irfan Yusoff, Kemarol Baharin

69 Khor Kheng Hwai

70 Akhmal Tarmizee, Shahizul Ahmad, Lam Yu Shuen, Rahizam Ramli, Abel Tam, Lim Eng Seng,

71 E Ben Leong, Zamri Sariff, Mohamad Azman Basharudin, Mohd Amli Mohiyadeen

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