Part-time Fraser shines in Malaysia

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Marcus Fraser launches a ride in Malaysia. Photo: Asian tour

The competitive fire of Marcus Fraser is hard to cover up.

The "part-time" touring pro surprised few others on Thursday to share the first round at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

Corowa veteran and Spaniard Nacho Elvira enjoyed matching seven-under-par 65s to lead Angelo Que, of the Philippines, Austria Matthias Schwab and Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond through a stroke.

And with the completion of a good day for the "River Men", Zach Murray of Wodonga continued his good form to seventh place after opening 68 at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.

Fraser, who won the inaugural Maybank Championship in 2016, said he was shocked to maintain the early lead, usually thanks to a few excellent moves.

"I did some good shopping at home, but I haven't played much competitive golf yet," Fraser said.

"It was fun to go out and play well in a great tournament."

Fraser, 40, has won nothing since his Malaysian triumph in 2016, when he was not only an Australian Olympian, but also second in the ranking of the Asian Tour of Merit

"I'm a part-time golfer nowadays, it's fun to go out on the golf course and it doesn't mean as much as before," he said.

"I think if you have that way of thinking, it probably helps, I was more surprised than someone who went there and fired at seven."

Among the Australians in the field, Terry Pilkadaris, Lucas Herbert and Scott Hend all 69th cards to share 15th, Travis Smyth shot a 70 to sit T26 and fellow New South Welshman Jake Higginbottom shot an even par 72 to 41st and Western Australians Minwoo Lee and Jason Scrivener played cards 73s.

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