Thursday, November 06, 2014


                    Graeme McDowell in action today. Picture by courtesy of Getty Images(c)



Graeme McDowell again showed his affinity for the World Golf Championships by opening with a five under par 67 at the WGC-HSBC Champions today.
The Northern Irishman has finished in the top ten on six of his last seven WGC appearances, stretching back to the beginning of the 2013 season, and at Sheshan International Golf Club, where he was third 12 months ago, he leads by two shots from a group of six players.
US Open champion Martin Kaymer is among that group, as are young Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, Americans Rickie Fowler, Chris Kirk and Brandt Snedeker and South African Tim Clark.
McDowell at one stage reached seven under par after starting on the tenth, but he dropped two shots in the last six holes on a course that is reportedly set up much tougher this year.
The WGC-HSBC Champions is the second event in The Race to Dubai’s Final Series, a lucrative four-tournament swing to conclude the 2014 season. This week is followed by the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.


Graeme McDowell

“A big key to this golf course is driving the ball well and I drove it very well today. I think I missed only one fairway, which is very important; it set up a few opportunities. I had a beautiful start, but all in all I’m very pleased with five under on a reasonably tricky day. "This is as tough off the tee as I think I've ever seen this golf course. It’s very tricky if you miss fairways – the rough is penal. I think they’ve got it just right this week. It's a really nice balance out there of risk/reward par fives and a drivable par four, some tough holes and some water - there's just the right amount of everything.”

Martin Kaymer

“I think it's a very good score, especially the first nine we played, which was difficult.  It was windy and we were one of the groups in the back of the field today so the greens, although still good, were a little slower. It's a good start and I really enjoy playing here.

" At one point I was level par today, but I just kept telling myself that I enjoy the golf course so much, and there will be plenty of birdie chances, so I just need to wait. Fortunately on the back nine it turned out well.”

Tommy Fleetwood
I putted really well and didn’t really give any shots away, which was pleasing. It was a really good first round. I hit a lot of good putts and holed plenty. Last week I had a nightmare first round but was nine under for the rest of the week, which was as good as a lot of the leaders.

" It was one horrific day which happens once or twice a year. This is a great tournament and I’m playing alongside the world’s best players. It’s very motivating.” 
American Jason Dufner shot an even-par 72 in the opening round but it was really a shot better. On the 18th hole, Dufner mistakenly picked up his ball in the fairway and received a one-shot penalty.
Dufner played in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia last week, a tournament in which players were allowed to lift, clean, and place due to wet conditions. 


Par 72
67 G McDowell  (NIr)
69 B Snedeker  (USA) , T Fleetwood  (Eng) , M Kaymer (Ger) , T Clark (RSA) , C Kirk (USA) , R Fowler  (USA) 

70 D Van Der Walt (RSA) , L Oosthuizen  (RSA) , K Hyung-Sung (SKor) , J Holmes (USA) , J Van Zyl (RSA) , L Westwood (Eng) , I Poulter (Eng) , A Scott  (Aus) , H Stenson (Swe) , B Haas  (USA) , J Spieth  (USA)
71 T Jaidee (Tha) , J Donaldson (Wal) , K Na (USA) , R Henley (USA) , B Todd (USA) , O Wilson (Eng) , P Reed (USA) , B Watson (USA) , J Blixt  (Swe)
72 M Siem  (Ger) , T Olesen (Den) , M Leishman (Aus) , K Bradley (USA) , S Gallacher (Sco) , J Rose (Eng) , T Bjørn (Den) , G Coetzee (RSA) , J Dufner (USA) 
73 J Senden (Aus) , Z Lianwei (Chn) , H Iwata (Jpn) , J Walker  (USA) , G Woodland (USA) ,
74 H Matsuyama  (Jpn) , S Stallings (USA) , W Ashun (Chn) , S Garcia  (Esp) , H Otto (RSA) , C Schwartzel  (RSA) , L Donald  (Eng) , A Levy (Fra) , H Mahan  (USA) , D Fichardt (RSA) , R Palmer (USA) , E Els (RSA) , A Lahiri (Ind) , R Moore  (USA) ,
75 M Jones (Aus) , P Larrazábal (Esp) , M Ilonen  (Fin) , L Hao-Tong (Chn) , L Wen-Chong (Chn) , M Warren (Sco) , M Every  (USA)
76 F Aguilar (Chi) , A Lascuna (Phi) , D Ze-Cheng (Chn) , M Hendry (Nzl) , V Dubuisson  (Fra) 
77 Y Takeya (Jpn) , K Streelman (USA) , J Luiten (Ned) ,
78 J Knutzon (USA) , M Jiménez (Esp) , S Lowry  (Irl) , D Lipsky (USA) , H Mu (Chn)
80 B Horschel (USA) 
85 J Jeong (SKor)
86 B Ninyette (Aus)
** K Stadler (USA) , G Delaet (Can) 




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