WGC-HSBC Champions R1

Li takes early lead in Shanghai

October 31 – November 03
Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China
$US10,250,000
Live leaderboard
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Li Haotong carded a brilliant 64 to thrill the home crowds and open up a one shot lead after the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions.

WGC-HSBC Champions R1 - Li takes early lead in Shanghai
Credit: Getty Images

“Today is a pretty good start and good beginning. Obviously it would be a great joy for Chinese golfers and Chinese golf fans to have a Chinese player winning a WGC-HSBC Champions here in China but for the next three days, anything could happen.

“So I don’t want to think too much about it. I just want to focus and concentrate on the upcoming three days because anything can happen. I just wanted to do a good job to keep this momentum going for the next three days.

“I don’t feel quite well with my status and my momentum because in the previous tournament, I wasn’t really playing that well. But I never expected today, that I had such a great round today in day one.”


The World Number 59 announced himself to the world with a top ten at Sheshan International Golf Club in 2015 and since then has gone on to claim two European Tour wins.

He made seven birdies and an eagle as he got to eight under on day one in Shanghai, becoming the first Chinese player to lead a World Golf Championships event after the opening round, from Frenchman Victor Perez.

Perez was making his WGC debut after claiming a maiden European Tour victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last month and he carded two eagles en route to a 65.

“It was a great day for me. Very pleased with how I played. I think I did a lot of things well today and I’m obviously in a great position after day one.

“Obviously the end of the year has been going quite well since the win at Dunhill. A couple of good weeks in Italy and France. It can always be better, but after win, you could go either way. You could really ride it or have a little bit of a downfall from it.

“I did well, coming in here with a lot of confidence and the course suits me fairly well. It’s long. The greens are going to be firm this week and obviously having JP helped a lot, as well today.”


England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, defending champion Xander Schauffele, Australian Adam Scott and South Korea’s Sungjae Im were at six under, a shot clear of World Number Two Rory McIlroy, Austrian Matthias Schwab and Canadian Corey Conners.

“I think it’s momentum,” said McIlroy. “Sometimes you feel it a little more than other times and definitely got to momentum on that back nine today, and tried to sort of ride that momentum to the very end. It would have been nice to pick up one more, had a good chance for birdie, but after the start today, to shoot five under, I’m not complaining.

“Looking at the leaderboard and looking at the scores that have been shot, it definitely was scorable. There was no wind, so it was a day to take advantage of the conditions. It looks like the conditions are going to stay that way for the next few days, but it’s nice, the last few tournaments I’ve played, I’ve had a bad opening round and then been trying to play catch up. At least now, I’m right in the thick of things from the start, which is a better place to be.”


Li entered the week 23rd on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex but a first WGC victory would put him right into the mix to be crowned Europe’s Number One heading into the final three Rolex Series events of the season.

McIlroy came home in 31 to fly up the leaderboard, with Schwab birdieing four of his last five in a late move of his own.
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen made the 28th hole-in-one of the season on the sixth as he got to four under alongside Abraham Ancer, Danny Willett and Zhang Xinjun.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Haotong Li
CHN
-8
64
2
Victor Perez
FRA
-7
65
T3
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
-6
66
T3
Adam Scott
AUS
-6
66
T3
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-6
66
T3
Xander Schauffele
USA
-6
66
T7
Corey Conners
CAN
-5
67
T7
Matthias Schwab
AUT
-5
67
T7
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-5
67
T10
Xinjun Zhang
CHN
-4
68
T10
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-4
68
T10
Danny Willett
ENG
-4
68
T10
Abraham Ancer
USA
-4
68
T14
Matthew Millar
AUS
-3
69
T14
Jason Kokrak
USA
-3
69
T14
Carl Yuan
CHN
-3
69
T14
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-3
69
T14
Ryo Ishikawa
JPN
-3
69
T14
Chez Reavie
USA
-3
69
T14
J. T. Poston
USA
-3
69
T14
Matt Wallace
ENG
-3
69
T14
Billy Horschel
USA
-3
69
T14
Tony Finau
USA
-3
69
T14
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
-3
69
T14
Justin Rose
ENG
-3
69
T26
Bryce Easton
RSA
-2
70
T26
Jake McLeod
AUS
-2
70
T26
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
-2
70
T26
Kurt Kitayama
USA
-2
70
T26
Joost Luiten
NED
-2
70
T26
Neil Schietekat
RSA
-2
70
T26
Cameron Smith
AUS
-2
70
T26
Yosuke Asaji
JPN
-2
70
T26
Jordan Spieth
USA
-2
70
T26
Henrik Stenson
SWE
-2
70
T26
Bubba Watson
USA
-2
70
T26
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-2
70
T26
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
-2
70
T26
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
-2
70
T26
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-2
70
T41
Chan Kim
USA
-1
71
T41
Jbe Kruger
RSA
-1
71
T41
Zecheng Dou
CHN
-1
71
T41
Andrea Pavan
ITA
-1
71
T41
Kevin Tway
USA
-1
71
T41
Phil Mickelson
USA
-1
71
T41
Andrew Putnam
USA
-1
71
T48
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
Par
72
T48
Patrick Reed
USA
Par
72
T48
Sergio Garcia
ESP
Par
72
T48
Richard Sterne
RSA
Par
72
T48
Masahiro Kawamura
JPN
Par
72
T48
Kevin Kisner
USA
Par
72
T48
Shane Lowry
IRL
Par
72
T55
Lucas Glover
USA
1
73
T55
Zander Lombard
RSA
1
73
T55
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
1
73
T55
Keegan Bradley
USA
1
73
T55
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
1
73
T55
Paul Waring
ENG
1
73
T55
Ian Poulter
ENG
1
73
T55
Zhengkai Bai
CHN
1
73
T55
Jorge Campillo
ESP
1
73
T55
Charles Howell III
USA
1
73
T65
Adam Hadwin
CAN
2
74
T65
Wenchong Liang
CHN
2
74
T65
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
2
74
T65
Mikumu Horikawa
JPN
2
74
T65
Francesco Molinari
ITA
2
74
T70
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
3
75
T70
Paul Casey
ENG
3
75
T70
Scott Hend
AUS
3
75
T70
Taehee Lee
KOR
3
75
T70
Justin Harding
RSA
3
75
T70
Romain Langasque
FRA
3
75
76
Yi-Keun Chang
KOR
4
76
77
Daniel Nisbet
AUS
5
77
78
Ashun Wu
CHI
8
80