Masters champion Patrick Reed shot an 8-under par 64 on Thursday to claim a two-shot lead after the first round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Americans Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele shot 66s for a share of second place, with England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick another shot off the pace at 5 under.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood, one of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes last week, is among a pack of players tied for fifth place at 4 under. The group also includes Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan, the low Asian players in the first round, along with American Billy Horschel and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Defending champion Justin Rose is in a tie for 10th along with fellow Englishmen Ian Poulter and Matt Wallace, Australia’s Adam Scott and American Keegan Bradley.
New No. 1 scuffles
American Brooks Koepka, playing in his first tournament since claiming the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, shot an even-par 72 and is eight shots off the lead, as is Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. Dustin Johnson, the man Koepka displaced at No. 1, struggled to a 2-over 74 and sits in a tie for 49th in the 78-player field.
Reed hit all 18 greens in regulation during his bogey-free round that included four birdies on each side of the Sheshan International Golf Club. However, only one of nine previous leaders or co-leaders after the first round has gone on to win the event.
NOTES: England’s Eddie Pepperell (back injury) and Chris Wood (neck injury) each withdrew before the start of the first round. Pepperell was replaced by Jason Scrivener. There was no replacement for Wood in the field. … The first round scoring average was 72.285. … China’s Xiao Bowen was the only player to hit all 14 fairways Thursday. … This is one of four WGC events that includes the Mexico Championship, the Dell Technologies Match Play and the FedEx St. Jude Invitational. … Rose, who came from eight shots back to win last year’s HSBC, is making his first PGA Tour start since winning the FedEx Cup title at the Tour Championship last month. … Aphibarnrat is the first player from Thailand to earn PGA Tour membership.
–Field Level Media