Amir, who is chasing his first win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), enjoyed a bogey-free round by marking his card with seven birdies to take a one-shot advantage over Singapore’s Jesse Yap at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort.
Thailand’s Nirun Sae-Ueng, together with Trevor Simsby and Jeremy Wendelken of the United States are tied for third after they returned with matching 67s.
Malaysia’s Sukree Othman signed for a 68 to share sixth place with Thailand’s Poom Pattaropong, Pawin Ingkhapradit and Japan’s Nari Gamma at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) ADT event.
Teeing off from the back-nine 10, Amir got his charge underway quickly with three birdies in his first four holes.
The Malaysian, who was denied his ADT breakthrough after losing in a three-way play-off in Indonesia last year, birdied 16 and 18 to reach the turn in 31.
After making five straight pars, Amir made further gains on holes six and nine to end the day with a 65 at the PGM ADT Penang Championship which is the fifth leg on the ADT schedule.
“I stayed patient all day and struck the ball really well. My iron play was good and I was really focused throughout the day.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow when I lost in the play-off last year. So I’m determined to make up with a good showing this week. It’s still early days but at least I’m in a good position and have a chance now,” said Amir.
Like Amir, Sukree is also hoping to secure his first ADT win after opening his campaign encouragingly.
A multiple winner on his home circuit, the 42-year-old believes he can translate his domestic form into wins on the ADT if he continues to play true to form.
“I know I have the game to win on the ADT. I just need to put together four solid rounds and right now, I have a good score already. It’s all about being consistent over the next three days,” said Sukree.
The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.
All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
For more information, visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores:
65- Amir Nazrin (Mas)
66- Jesse Yap (Sgp)
67 - Nirun Sae-Ueng (Tha), Jeremy Wendelken (Usa), Trevor Simsby (Usa)
68- Sukree Othman (Mas) , Poom Pattaropong (Tha) , Nari Gamma (Jpn), Pawin Ingkhapradit (Tha)
69- Bjorn Hellgren (Swe), Austen Truslow (Usa), Kenneth De Silva (Mas), Fakhrul Akmal (Mas), Jack Murdoch (Aus),