Former Open Champ Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott both shoot opening round 65′s at The WGC-HSBC Championship and share the lead after the first round of play on Thursday. Two Americans, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson join a foursome that includes last weeks winner in Shanghai , Peter Hanson, one stroke back.
Oosthuizen, who got started early with a birdie at the first hole, poured in six more at the Mission Hills Golf Club in South West China, and concluded his bogey free round at -7 under par. The 7400 yard par 72 Olazabal Course has five par fives, and is a big hitter’s dream. Oosthuizen birdied all five.
Adam Scott, who led all but the last round at The Open this year, took a bumpier road enroute to his 65. He shot an Eagle 3, at the par five 5th hole and bogeyed the par three 17th. Both players were tied for first on the day with Driving accuracy, Greens in regulation, and putting.
Phil Mickelson also shot a bogey free round on Thursday, and joined the leaders in Driving, GIR and putting. Phil also Eagled the the ninth hole. In his typical fashion, Bubba Watson was all over the golf course with seven birdies and an Eagle, but had three bogeys at two of the par three’s. His eagle came at the par five 11th hole.
Peter Hanson is looking to make up some ground on Race To Dubai points leader, Rory McIlroy this week. McIlroy joined Tiger Woods in not playing this week. If Hanson can hang on for a top five finish, he could put a large dent in the young Northern Irishman’s 830,000Euro lead.
Also one stroke back, is Shane Lowery. The young Irishman got his score to -8 under par until bogeys at 17 and 18 would send him home in second place.
Other notables in the field were Dustin Johnson, two strokes back, Ian Poulter four strokes back at -3 under par, along with American Bill Hass, and 2011 PGA Champ Keegan Bradley is tied with Graeme McDowell at -1 under par. Nick Watney, and Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts are at even par.