Hong Kong's James Stewart and David Freeman congratulate each other on another birdie as they start their World Cup qualifying campaign in great style in Malaysia. The pair combined for an eight-under-par 63 yesterday for the first-round lead at the Seri Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur. Asian Tour regular Stewart and Freeman, a teaching professional at the Hong Kong Golf Club, lead by a stroke from the Philippines (Juvic Pagunsan and Gerald Rosales) with Malaysia (Iain Steel and Danny Chia) and Singapore (Lam Chih Bing and Mardan Mamat) sharing third on 65. The two top teams after four rounds qualify for the World Golf Championships-World Cup in Barbados in December. 'My partner's putting was phenomenal,' said Freeman. 'It was a slow start for us after we parred the first six holes, but James then got us going from the seventh. It's certainly a big step for us towards the World Cup and it is very exciting as this is all very new to me. We're just going to try to take this one step at a time.' Stewart, who competed in the 2003 World Cup with Derek Fung, played the anchorman's role, holing a 40-foot monster on the 16th hole. 'We know each other quite well and practise together,' said Stewart.