Kevin Na leads Koreans at CIMB Classic after opening round

October 29, 2015
Kevin Na of the United States follows his shot on the sixteenth fairway during the first round of CIMB Classic golf tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.(AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

Kevin Na of the United States follows his shot on the sixteenth fairway during the first round of CIMB Classic golf tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.(AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

By Brian Han

Kevin Na continued his high level of play at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia Thursday following two consecutive second place finishes.

The Korean American put together a blemish-free 5-under 67 that included five birdies to put himself in an eight-way tie for eighth place.

Na came up just short last year at the same event to finish in second place.

He is currently five strokes off the leader American Scott Piercy who crafted a brilliant 10-under 62 by carding five birdies on each of the nines.

Piercy had trouble off the tee missing almost half of his fairways, but made it up with a hot putter on nearly every birdie opportunity he gave himself.

James Hahn is back in the mix after shooting a 2-under 70 putting himself in a tie for 33rd.

The 33-year-old is coming off his most memorable PGA Tour season in which he won his first tournament at the Northern Trust Open back in February. Soon afterward, he took some time off to spend time with his newborn child and wife.

Richard T. Lee from Canada qualified independently for the event and played in his third PGA event ever. It was also his birthday so even with a double bogey to cap off his round, he managed to stay optimistic.

“Anything can happen,” he told reporters after the round. “I can go out and shoot another low one tomorrow and another low one and I can still be in contention.”

The 25-year-old shot a 1-under 71.

Korean New Zealander Danny Lee has been struggling a bit as of late, and today’s round was no exception.

Although he birdied his first two of four holes, his back nine consisted of two consecutive bogeys followed by a triple bogey. He finished with a 1-over 72.

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