Alexander Levy, Stephen Gallacher and Eddie Pepperell jumped into a share of the lead as the second round of the weather-delayed Maybank Championship got under way.
England’s Chris Paisley held the overnight lead after an opening 65 and kept hold of his one-shot advantage as the first round was completed, with 40 players returning to the course in the morning after storm delays on Thursday.
Dylan Frittelli was South Africa’s best-placed player after an opening 69 which included birdies at the 1st and 18th holes as he looks to cement his place inside the world’s top 50. Haydn Porteous was -2 through 18 despite opening with a double bogey on Thursday.
Levy quickly joined Paisley at seven under and then jumped out into a two-shot lead but a double-bogey stalled his momentum and after turning in 34, he found himself in a four-way tie with Gallacher, Paisley and Pepperell.
There was then a ten-way tie for second on a congested leaderboard at Saujana Golf & Country Club.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera was one of the players who had to complete their first rounds in the morning and, while he remained in second after a pair of pars, he birdied his opening hole of round two to share the lead.
Fellow Frenchman Levy had also made a gain on the first and when he added to it on the third, there was a three-way tie at the top.
The 27 year old – who arrived here off the back of two top tens on the Desert Swing – then made further birdies on the 5th and 6th to jump out into a two-shot lead as those behind him jostled for position.
Lorenzo-Vera dropped a shot on the 3rd but regained it on the 5th and was soon joined at seven under by England’s Pepperell, who made a hat-trick of gains from the 5th after earlier picking up a shot on the 2nd.
A Levy double-bogey on the 8th meant that there was a sudden four-way tie for the lead and, while Lorenzo-Vera dropped out of that with a bogey on the 7th, he was soon replaced by Scot Gallacher.
The 2014 Ryder Cup winner started his day with an eagle and, after dropping a shot on the 4th, picked up birdies on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th.
Lee Westwood – who claimed the latest of his 23 European Tour victories in Malaysia in 2014 – made six birdies in his first ten holes to surge to six under.
The Englishman’s playing partner Hideto Tanihara was five under for his round with Benjamin Hebert three under after 12.
Yuta Ikeda, fellow Japanese Daisuke Kataoka and home favourite Gavin Green had all reached the turn, while Lorenzo-Vera, Marc Warren and Jyoti Randhawa were on the front nine.
England’s David Horsey was also six under and among the later starters.
Andrew Dodt, Paul Peterson and Jason Scrivener were all on the course at five under.
Credit: European Tour