A world-class field at the World Golf Championships—HSBC Champions tournament is headlined by Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen, who each fired seven-under rounds of 65 to co-lead after Day 1.
Oosthuizen did not make a bogey on the day, while Scott's round was capped off in style by an eagle at No. 9, his 18th hole of the day.
Seven of the planet's top 20 golfers occupy the Top 10 at the conclusion of Thursday's action in Guangdong, China.
On a course designed by recent European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, quite a few prominent names from the Cup are well in the mix. Americans Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson sit one shot off the pace, Dustin Johnson posted a five-under 67 of his own and Jason Dufner is also not far behind at four-under.
As for the Europeans, Peter Hanson is backing up his win at the BMW Masters nicely after shooting a 66. Former world No. 1 Luke Donald and ultimate Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer are inside the Top 10 as well.
It's only been one round, but plenty of stars are out to compete for a massive number of world golf ranking points. For the European players, this event has Race to Dubai ramifications, while others have a golden opportunity to vault ahead in the rankings as the year continues to wind down.
Continue reading on for a closer look at the scores, some of the day's notable highlights and a dash of social media chatter.
Leaderboard (view full results at PGATOUR.com)
|T1||Adam Scott||-7 |
|T3||Phil Mickelson||-6 |
|T3||Peter Hanson||-6 |
|T3||Shane Lowry||-6 |
|T7||Dustin Johnson||-5 |
|T7||Prom Meesawat||-5 |
|T9||Jason Dufner||-4 |
|T9||Martin Kaymer||-4 |
Here was the finish that launched Adam Scott to the top of the leaderboard. The smooth-swinging Aussie stuffs his approach to the par-5 ninth hole, and proceeds to roll in the eagle putt to get to seven under.
Bubba Watson finds the right rough off the tee on the par-4 sixth, but manages to gouge out his approach and hit it to about three feet to set up what was his fourth birdie in six holes.
To start what was his back nine at No. 1, Peter Hanson kept the momentum of his round going by draining this 45-foot bomb en route to a first-round 66.
CBSSports.com's Shane Bacon shared the sentiment of many golf fans in discussing the absence of the world's two best players from the HSBC field. According to FOX (via AP), head of HSBC sponsorship Giles Morgan wasn't too thrilled, either.
PING was thrilled with its own Louis Oosthuizen, who fired a bogey-free 65 to grab a share of the first-round lead:
After a barrage of seven birdies, PING Pro Louis Oosthuzien leads the HSBC Champions Tournament. Keep up the great work, Louis! #Anser— PING GOLF (@PingTour) November 1, 2012
The PGA Tour's official media Twitter account captured the unique imagery of the driving range at Mission Hills Golf Club: