The Malaysian fired seven birdies against one bogey for his best score on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this year at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club East course.
He leads by two shots from Thailand’s Poom Saksansin, who won his first ADT title in October, and India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu at the RM200,000 (approximately US$50,000) event, which is the second last stop on the 2015 ADT schedule.
Defending champion Rizal Amin of Malaysia posted a disappointing 77 to sit in tied 44th place.
The 39-year-old Sasidaran, who is searching for a first ADT win, opened with four birdies in six holes before play was suspended due to lightning threats for close to two hours.
“No it (rain delay) didn’t stop my momentum at all. It is normal to have delays in Malaysia,” he said. “I hit the ball really well today and holed a lot of good putts. That was the key to my good score.”
Sasidaran struggled early in the season but he is beginning to show signs of improvement after putting in extra hours in training and lowering expectations.
“When you set the bar too high, you tend to think too much and push yourself harder to achieve the goals. But when you fail, you lose confidence and feel disappointed. Now I take it easy and the results are beginning to show,” said Sasidaran.
A total of 66 players will return at 7.30am Thursday to complete the first round at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores:
65 – M. Sasidaran (MAS)
67 – Poom SAKSANSIN (THA), Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND)
68 – Sukree OTHMAN (MAS), GOH Kun Yang (SIN), Lion GOH (MAS), Shariffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS)
69 – LEE Yoo-ho (KOR), James BOWEN (USA)
70 – Brandon LAU Ka Kin (MAS), LEE Shih-hung (TWN), Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) , Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA)
71 – LEE Wei-lin (TWN), R. Nachimuthu (MAS), Sean RIORDAN (NZL), Gavin GREEN (MAS) , HSIEH Chi-hsien (TWN)
72 – WANG Cheng-chi (TWN), KOH Deng Shan (SIN), KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS), Jordan IRAWAN (INA), Mohamad Azman BASHARUDIN (MAS), Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA), Farid RASHID (MAS), Johannes DERMAWAN (INA), Mohd Amli MOHIYADEEN (MAS)
73 – LAM Kong Loong (MAS), Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA , Takashi OKUDA (JPN), CHOO Tze Huang (SIN), Jordan SHERRATT (AUS), Alex TIONG (MAS), Mark LEICH (AUS), Eugene SIM (SIN)