Els, Yang shoot 3-under

Major winners Ernie Els and Y.E. Yang opened the Chiangmai Classic with 3-under-par 69s to lie four strokes behind leader Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand on Thursday.

Els, looking for his first win this year, played Alpine Golf Resort bogey-free with a short putter, though he will switch to a belly putter for the faster greens at the Masters in two weeks.

”Trying to really squeeze a lot out there today but I didn’t quite happen,” Els said. ”I feel there’s a good round out there and I’ll keep searching.”

Els was fine-tuning for the Masters with his first appearance in Thailand since 2004. He didn’t qualify for last year’s Masters, ending 18 straight appearances at Augusta National, but has since won his fourth major at the British Open.

Former U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell shot 84 in the Asian Tour event.

Prayad led a trio of players by one shot.