Fine sunny weather with only a slight breeze on the first day of the UBS Hong Kong Open 2015 presented ideal conditions to post good scores for the 144 golfers on this par 70 course.
Early leaders of this European Tour Event, tournament after Round-1 (both on -6) are Lu Wei-chih of Taiwan and Italian Andrea Pavan.
Lu Wei-chih a 26-year old from Taipei, plays on the Asian and Japan Tours has won three times in his professional career heading the Taipei Masters twice and the Tournament Players Championship also in Taiwan once.
Pavan, a 26 year old Italian from Rome, educated at Texas A&M University, plays on the PGA tour and is currently ranked 661 has won 4-times on the Challenge Tour.
Instead of their early starts from the 1st tee in day-1, both will start from the 11th, Lu will be off at 11:50 and Pavan at 1:00pm, hoping to repeat their day-1 performances.
The biggest gallery of the day, following the grouping of Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell saw steady play by Rose finishing the day on -5 without dropping a shot, picking up birdies at holes 4, 10, 13. 14 and 17. Graeme McDowell finishing the day four under par on 66, dropped a shot at the 1st hole but immediately pulled back to -1 with birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes. He then picked up birdies on the 8th, 10th and 17th. Johnson did not have the best of days finishing on -1.
Jeev Mikha Singh of India and CT Pan of Taiwan are also just one shot off the lead on -5. Newcomer Pan is an ex-top world ranked amateur now playing on the PGA Tour winning his first tournament, the Players Cup in Canada in July 2015.
A total of 6 players finished day-1 together with Graeme McDowell on -4 including Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark, S S P Chawrasia and Rahil Gangee both of India Kevin Phelan of Northern Ireland and Oliver Fisher of England
Ian Poulter of England, and Anirban Lahiri of India, Prom Meesawat of Thailand and six others carded -3. Poulter who has been slipping down the world rankings is now ranked 51, Anirban Lahiri plays on the European Tour.
All of the top players posted sub-par scores except Pedraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez both lying on level par after the first round. Patrick Reed of the USA starting early in the day (7:40) posted a -2 (68). Defending champion Scott Hend of Australia is in a group of 11 players all on -1.