Scotland's Marc Warren equalled the lowest score of his European Tour career to set the pace in the Maybank Championship as Cork's Niall Turner enjoyed a strong start.

Warren carded seven birdies and an eagle in a nine-under-par 63 at Saujana Golf and Country Club, which left him two shots ahead of Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai.

Turner hit three consecutive birdies in the final three holes of his first round and sits in joint 17th place on -3. Paul Dunne is three shots back on level par.

Danny Willett, who has struggled for consistent form since claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, was part of a six-strong group three shots back on six under which included American Peter Uihlein and Hong Kong Open winner Sam Brazel.

Warren, who needed a strong finish to last season to keep his card, birdied four of his first six holes before making the most of a stroke of good luck to eagle the par-five eighth.

"I didn't hit a great tee shot on the eighth, I pulled it left and I was actually on the ninth fairway," admitted the 35-year-old after his first 63 on a par-72 layout.

"It was quite a long way up though so I managed to hit a five wood to about 15 feet and it was a nice bonus after that tee shot.

"My iron play was very good today and recently I have been making a lot of birdies but a lot of mistakes as well. It was nice to get around without a bogey.

"Last week I made 11 birdies in two days and missed the cut so it's just a matter of trying to keep the positive stuff going, making the birdies and cutting out the slack stuff.

"It is a tough golf course, especially with the wind and the heat and everything else, and grainy greens too. If you shoot a score of nine under you're putting really well so I'll take a lot of confidence from today and move on to tomorrow."

Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel recorded a 71 on his return to action following a knee injury, while Lee Westwood could only manage an opening 73.