Netherlands' Joost Luiten leads at Iskandar Johor Open

Joost Luiten
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Joost Luiten, of the Netherlands, has the early first-round lead in Malaysia after an 8-under 63 on Thursday. Seventy-eight players still have to complete the weather-interrupted round.
Associated Press

Series: European Tour

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 7:56 a.m.

JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (AP) -- Joost Luiten of the Netherlands shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take the clubhouse lead in the first round of the weather-interrupted Iskandar Johor Open.

Luiten birdied the final hole for a one-shot lead over titleholder Padraig Harrington, Marcus Fraser of Australia and France's Gregory Bourdy at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in Malaysia's southern Johor state.

Of the 156 players in the field, 78 were unable to complete their round after lightning halted play in the early evening.

"The key today for me today was my ability to find the fairways off the tee-shots which puts me in a great position to make birdies," said Luiten, finished joint fifth result at last week's Singapore Open. "A 61 or 62 is possible, if you get the putter going."

Harrington fears the weather will disrupt the tournament.

"With the weather conditions, we all can expect a shortened tournament. So you need to get off to a fast start," he said. "Coming back to defend your title and putting in a good showing is always a nice feeling. It helps when you are near to the top of the leaderboard."

Charles Wi of South Korea, England's James Morrison and Germany's Nicolas Meitinger were next, three shots off the pace.