Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nick Watney equals Shanghai course record with a 64

American Nick Watney tied the course record with a near-flawless eight under par 64 to open up a two stroke lead at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai today.
With a large first day crowd watching World No 1 Tiger Woods card an opening round of 67, the spectators should have paid closer attention to Buick Invitational winner Watney as the two time US PGA Tour winner claimed the clubhouse lead ahead of compatriot Ryan Moore and The Race to Dubai contender Martin Kaymer.
Nick Dougherty made a welcome return to form following a poor run after winning June's BMW International Open and was six under with four holes to play.
Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-tang, the reigning UBS Hong Kong Open champion, joined Woods and his fellow Ryder Cup winner Anthony Kim in the cluhouse tied for fifth.
Watney had looked on course to break the course record and had a outside chance of a magical 59 after reaching the turn in 31, courtesy of a 30ft eagle putt.
He then reeled off an amazing run of four straight birdies at the start of his back nine which was capped by another 30ft putt at the fourth after starting on the back nine.
The fireworks though stopped there for the 28 year old, runner up to Phil Mickelson at March's WGC-CA Championship, after blotting his scorecard with a final hole bogey following a costly three putt after failing to pick up further gains on his trip home.
“I played very well, I got off to a nice start. And the greens are so good that if you hit a putt on line, it's definitely going to go in," said World Number 32 Watney.
"I was putting very well and I just tried to give myself as many chances as possible and I was able to make a few.”



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