Wednesday, January 16, 2019

AD_HSBC_CHAMPIONSHIP_RS_LAND_CMYK_ColourLowry leads in Abu Dhabi after
equalling course
record of 62

This image of Shane Lowry is displayed by courtesy of Getty Images
Round One Report
Shane Lowry will take a three-shot lead into the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA after equalling the course record with a sparkling 62 on Wednesday.
The Irishman became the first man to match Henrik Stenson's 13 year old record after firing ten birdies and no bogeys at Abu Dhabi Golf Club early on day one.
Lowry enjoyed a long break over the Christmas period having not played competitively since the 2018 ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf in November, and the 31 year old looked refreshed at the first Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai season, matching his career best round from the 2009 Irish Open, which he won while still an amateur.
Louis Oosthuizen, Richard Sterne and Mike Lorenzo-Vera were in a tie for second after making the most of favourable scoring conditions in the morning, while afternoon starter Pablo Larrazábal was alongside them on seven under par after carding a stunning eagle, six birdies and one bogey in his first round.
Three-time former champion Martin Kaymer, Englishmen Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, Dane Søren Kjeldsen and Swede Alexander Björk were another stroke further back, with World Number Two Brooks Koepka at five under par.
Meanwhile, Raphaël Jacquelin joined an exclusive club when he became the 12th man to reach the impressive milestone of 600 European Tour events.
The 44 year old turned professional in 1995 and has so far claimed four European Tour titles, as well as winning twice on the Challenge Tour. The Frenchman follows in the footsteps of Sam Torrance, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Barry Lane, Colin Montgomerie, Roger Chapman, Paul Lawrie, Eamonn Darcy, Peter Baker, Malcolm Mackenzie, David Howell and Robert Karlsson by entering the 600 club.
Player Quotes
Shane Lowry: “Golf is such  a funny game, isn't it? Obviously quite a lot of time off since the World Cup but put in a decent bit of work the last two weeks over here in Dubai and just gone out with not much expectation but knew I was playing okay, and everything clicked.
“I didn't hit as many fairways as I would have liked, but I was hitting everything close and managed to hole a couple of putts, as well. It was one of those days where it just felt comfortable. Even standing there on the last hole, sometimes you can get a little bit anxious or nervous in situations like that, but I just felt great.
“I'm obviously over the moon. It equals the best score I've ever shot. I knew that, as well, and I said it to my caddie coming down the last. A birdie here would be the best score I've ever shot, which obviously he said, then why don't you just go for it. I left the putt short, but I felt like I hit a decent putt, it was just a bit more into the grain than I felt, and yeah, obviously I'm very chuffed."
Mike Lorenzo-Vera: “I have to say I've been sick for the last two days with a really bad throat and fever, so had some really bad nights. So very happy about the start anyway.
“It's going to be definitely my objective to catch at least one (win), but we are trying to just be out of the result and then just try to work well and then the results will come.”
Louis Oosthuizen: “It's very important to keep going and play well. A good start to the season is always nice for the rest of the year, you can sort of build on that, so if I can put three more good rounds together and then see if I can have a good finish this week."
Pablo Larrazábal: “I'm four under par the front nine, playing great golf, and didn't make birdie on ten. It looked like the run slowed down a little bit and on 14, we were between clubs. I hit a perfect seven just short of the landing area we wanted to, and then I thinned it from the bunker over the green, and up-and-down from bogey there.
“On 16 we had a good number, 158 metres, and we tried to land it like 148, 150, and it landed perfectly, and the four or five people that were on the green started screaming. You know, it's been a long time since I had holed an eight-iron. Good to have it, I’ll take it, and nice 34, birdie-birdie to finish, and very happy with the round.”
Brooks Koepka: “I felt like I played well, struck it well, made those kind of key par putts coming down on the back nine. The actual front nine wasn't the best; it was a little sloppy. But I'll just clean it up for tomorrow.
“It was perfect. The wind is barely blowing, perfect weather. The golf course is in great shape. These fairways are quite tight. You hit it in the rough and who knows what's going to happen. The rough is getting a little juicy, especially in the morning when it's a little wet.”



Scots' scores
 par 72

69 Scott Jamieson (T22)
70 Richie Ramsay, Robert MacIntyre (T38)
71 Grant Forrest, David Drysdale (T62)
73 Liam Johnson (T96)
74 Stephen Gallacher (T107)
75 David Law (T117)



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