Thursday, October 27, 2016

WGC-HSBC Champions Tournament

Russell Knox in the Shanghai mix with a 66

Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg marked his debut in a World Golf Championship event with an impressive eight-under-par opening round of 64 to lead the WGC-HSBC Champions by one shot from Rickie Fowler in Shanghai.

The 2015 Italian Open champion made a spectacular start to his round at Sheshan International Golf Club, posting four consecutive birdies before picking up another shot on the seventh hole to reach the turn in 31 shots.

He added four further birdies on the back nine to move to nine under par heading to the 17th tee, holding a two stroke lead at that point, but after a par on that hole he dropped his only shot of the day on the closing hole to lead American Fowler by just a single stroke.

Fowler was bogey-free in his round of 65 as he chases a second European Tour victory of 2016 in an HSBC-sponsored event, following his early season win in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Defending champion Russell Knox, of Scotland, is two shots back after a six under par round of 66, with another former champion, 2010 winner Francesco Molinari, in a share of sixth place on five under par following an opening 67.

Player quotes
Rikard Karlberg: “It was just one of those days; it was a walk in the park. I committed to a lot of shots and hit them perfectly, just as I wanted.
“With the wet conditions you just need to be aggressive, bomb to the tee and bomb to the pin, and that's what I did today. I had great distance control. I hit great shots all day except the last hole.
“On the 18th my drive didn't fade and I ended up in the bunker and I had a little sand behind the ball. Unfortunately I didn't really catch it and ended up in the rough, short right, in the water. I  had to play it safe and hit a good putt.”

Rickie Fowler: “It’s always nice to start with seven under par, I’m pleased with that. I knew with the soft conditions they were going to try to tuck some pins. It was going to be very scoreable if you drove it in the fairways and I was able to do that.
“I played very well tee-to-green and that made things a lot easier from there. It was a stress-free, simple round.

Russell (Knox) and Paul (Casey) have been playing well and we enjoyed each other's presence. We had a good time out there and fed off each other a bit. I don't think there's a threesome that beat us today.”
Russell Knox:  “The first round is never my strongest so I’m delighted to get off to a flyer and shoot six under. I didn't put any pressure on myself, but you only get one shot at your first defence, so I want to make sure I have a good time over the next three days.
“The conditions were just like this on Sunday last year - very dark and dreich, as the Scots would say, with a little mist and rain. The course played long today, which is fine for me. If it's lift, clean and place, as long as I'm on the fairway, I can compete around here. So it's all about my tee shot to set up my iron game.”
“When you're playing with Rickie Fowler, nobody cares if I'm defending champion. So that always takes a little pressure off. It's an honour to be the defending champion and hopefully I can keep my trophy.”

par 72

64 R Karlberg  (Swe)
65 R Fowler  (USA)
66 R Knox (Sco) , D Berger (USA) , H Matsuyama  (Jpn)
67 B Haas  (USA) , P Casey  (Eng) , F Molinari (Ita)
68 A Noren  (Swe) , D Burmester (RSA) , R Bland (Eng) , Z Xinjun (Chn) , S Garcia  (Esp)
69 L Westwood (Eng) , A Scott  (Aus) , R Fisher (Eng) , G Coetzee (RSA) , C Wood  (Eng) , H Stenson (Swe)
70 T Jaidee (Tha) , T Hatton (Eng) , J Kokrak  (USA) , K Chappell (USA)

71 R McIlroy  (NIr) , J Holmes (USA) , B Watson (USA) , T Pieters  (Bel) , G Woodland (USA) , L Oosthuizen  (RSA) , R Cabrera Bello (Esp) , B Wiesberger  (Aut) , J Thomas (USA) , R Moore  (USA)
72 J Luiten (Ned) , M Tabuena (Phi) , L Wenchong (Chn) , M Millar (Aus) , A Levy (Fra) , M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) , J Zunic (Aus) , S Hend (Aus) , Z Hui-Lin (Chn) , B Dredge (Wal) , M Kaymer (Ger) , K Kisner (USA) , E Grillo (Arg) , C Schwartzel  (RSA)

73 M Kuchar  (USA) , S Kjeldsen (Den) , W Ashun (Chn) , B Grace  (RSA) , S O'Hair (USA) , H Tanihara (Jpn) , B Koepka  (USA) , L Haotong (Chn) , R Castro (USA)

74 K Kim (SKor) , D Willett  (Eng) , S Kim (SKor) , S Lowry  (Irl),  G Bourdy (Fra) , D Johnson (USA) , B An (SKor)

75 Y Song (SKor) , N Holman  (Aus) , A Johnston (Eng) , K Na (USA)

76 J Blaauw  (RSA) , S Lee (SKor)

77 D Zecheng (Chn) , R Sterne  (RSA)

78 P Reed (USA) , M Fraser (Aus) , J Walker  (USA)

79 S Piercy (USA) , S Chan  (Tpe) , J Vegas (Ven)

82 J Wang (SKor)



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