Bur­goon leads at CIMB Clas­sic, Thomas three strokes back

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By NI­CO­LAS ANIL The As­so­ci­ated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Justin Thomas birdied four of his last five holes for a 6-un­der 66 and was three strokes be­hind first-round leader Bron­son Bur­goon at the CIMB Clas­sic on Thurs­day.

Bur­goon’s 63 on the par-72 TPC Kuala Lumpur West Course gave him a one-stroke lead over Austin Cook. Scott Piercy, Billy Horschel and C.T. Pan were an­other stroke back af­ter 65s.

Thomas, the high­est-ranked player in the field at No. 4, was in an eight-way tie for sixth, in­clud­ing 2012 cham­pion Nick Wat­ney, Kevin Chap­pell and Paul Casey.

“You have to play well here ev­ery day or at least get a round like to­day … it’s what could end up win­ning me this golf tour­na­ment,” Thomas said.

“Not hav­ing my best stuff and get­ting around here in 6un­der is huge. I just didn’t take ad­van­tage of a cou­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties and let a cou­ple go, but kind of found some­thing there those last five holes and was able to at least make a good round.”

Bur­goon, ranked 162nd, had eight birdies and an ea­gle. His only bo­gey came on the par-4 13th.

“I drove it well and I putted pretty good, so it was kind of bor­ing golf, but that’s al­ways a good thing,” Bur­goon said. “I chipped in for ea­gle out of the bunker on my ninth hole, which kind of boosted me, then I kept go­ing.”

De­fend­ing cham­pion Pat Perez shot 70.

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