Reed Takes First Round Lead at the WGC-HSBC Champions
Patrick Reed fired a brilliant opening 64 in windy conditions at Sheshan International Golf Club to take the first-round lead at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
The Masters Tournament champion was teeing it up for the first time since The Ryder Cup in Shanghai but he showed no signs of rust, making eight birdies in a bogey-free effort that moved him to eight under, two shots ahead of fellow Americans Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele.
Reed already has one World Golf Championships title to his name at the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship and has three top tens to go with his Augusta National triumph this season to sit third in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
Reed said, “It feels great. To be able to come out here and to be the first event back and to feel like I hit the ball really solid. I had full control, especially with how windy it was today. It felt really good because if you can go out and shoot rounds like that in these kind of conditions, you know you’re going to have confidence when the wind dies down and there are perfect conditions out there. I really just need to keep on taking it day by day and try to shoot the lowest round I can each day. Hopefully, I’ll shoot a couple more of these rounds, I think that will help me out.”
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat underlined his growing reputation as a world-class player by posting a four-under-par 68 to take a share of fifth place with England’sMatthew Fitzpatrick, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, American Billy Horschel and Chinese Taipei’sC.T. Pan. Kiradech, together with C.T. Pan are the highest placed Asians in the elite 78-man field in the US$10million WGC event.
Having already enjoyed two top-five finishes in his previous two WGC events in Mexico and the United States this year, Kiradech, who was hospitalised for two days after his exertions in Malaysia a fortnight ago, is back in the pink of health and looking forward to get the job done this week.
The 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is ranked 41st in the world and is also the first Thai to earn a PGA TOUR card.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar will meanwhile be looking for a strong comeback after struggling to a 72 which placed him in a share of 27th place at the year’s final WGC event.
Compatriot Shubhankar Sharma, who currently leads the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity standings, had a day to forget as he carded a 80 to end the day in last place on the leaderboard.
First Round Scores
64 P Reed (USA) ,
66 T Finau (USA) , X Schauffele (USA) ,
67 M Fitzpatrick (Eng) ,
68 C Pan (Tpe) , B Horschel (USA) , T Fleetwood (Eng) , K Aphibarnrat (Tha) , R Cabrera Bello (Esp) ,
69 I Poulter (Eng) , G Coetzee (RSA), A Scott (Aus) , M Wallace (Eng) , J Rose (Eng) , K Bradley (USA) ,
70 R Fox (Nzl) , K Stanley (USA) , E Grillo (Arg) , P Perez (USA) , C Reavie (USA) , A Björk (Swe) , P Cantlay (USA) , A Putnam (USA) ,
71 A Levy (Fra) , J Ritchie (RSA) , J Day (Aus) ,
72 W Liang (Chn) , A Otaegui (Esp) , R McIlroy (Nir) , S Kodaira (Jpn) , H Matsuyama (Jpn) , A Sullivan (Eng) , T Hatton (Eng) , S Kim (USA) , A Pavan (Ita) , B Koepka (USA) , X Zhang (Chn) , G Bhullar (Ind) , B Grace (RSA) , A Bland (Aus) ,
73 A Wu (Chn) , J Campillo (Esp) , J Rahm (Esp) , P Casey (Eng) , H Li (Chn) , S Vincent (Zim) , B Harman (USA) , B Rumford (Aus) ,
74 A Hadwin (Can) , Y Inamori (Jpn) , J Norris (Aus) , J Suri (USA) , D Johnson (USA) , B Stone (RSA) , R Knox (Sco) , P Kizzire (USA) , A Noren (Swe) , C Hoffman (USA) ,
75 B Snedeker (USA) , T Olesen (Den) , J Scrivener (Aus) , Y Liu (Chn) , Y Ikeda (Jpn) , T Pieters (Bel) , B An (Kor) , K Na (USA) , J Catlin (USA) ,
76 C Smith (Aus) , B Xiao (Chn) , F Molinari (Ita) , J Harding (RSA) , E Van Rooyen (RSA) ,
77 L Bjerregaard (Den) , O Bekker (RSA) , S Park (Kor) ,
78 Y Yuan (Chn) ,
80 S Sharma (Ind) ,
** C Wood (Eng) ,
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