Darren Clarke may have to sweat to make the cut after struggling to a one-over-par 73 in the opening round of the Maybank Malaysian Open in steamy Kuala Lumpur.

The Dungannon man was two under par after three holes but dropped five shots to slip to three over before repairing some of the damage with birdies at the final two holes and share 71st place.

Peter Lawrie was the best of the Irish in a share of 16th thanks to a fine 69 that featured just one bogey. But Gary Murphy looks to be heading for an early exit as he slithered to six over after 17 holes when play was suspended for the day due to thunderstorms at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Rhys Davies and Ignacio Garrido share the lead on seven under par.

Clarke picked up shots at the first and third but a bogey at the fifth was followed by a double bogey at the next hole.

Further shots were dropped at 11 and 15 although a good finish leaves him eight shots off the pace.