x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Liang shares lead with Sterne

China's Liang Wenchong shot a 64 to take a one-shot first-round lead with the South African Richard Sterne in Hong Kong.

John Daly gets into a spot of bother but he records a solid round of 68 in the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open.
John Daly gets into a spot of bother but he records a solid round of 68 in the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open.

HONG KONG // China's Liang Wenchong shot a six-under-par 64 to take a one-shot first-round lead with the South African Richard Sterne at the US$2.5 million (Dh9.1m) UBS Hong Kong Open. Liang, 30, aiming to become the first mainland Chinese to win the tournament in its 50th year, hit seven birdies and could have gone into the second day out on his own but finished his round with a three-putt for a bogey.

"My performance was very good today, but there are still three days to go," said Liang, who won the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year. "I'll try to give my best performance every day." Sterne picked up four shots in his first six holes but a couple of bogeys just before halfway set him back and he needed another four birdies on the back nine to share the lead. Frankie Minoza of the Philippines and the Taiwanese Lin Wen-tang shared third after carding a round of 65, a shot better than the Briton Oliver Wilson, the loser of a playoff against Sergio Garcia in Shanghai two weeks ago, and three others who share fifth.

The twice-major winner John Daly made a good start with a 68 on the tight Fanling course that left him in a share of 15th with Colin Montgomerie and 14 other players. "I'm not too disappointed, being a little rusty and had not played in a month," said Daly. "I think under par on the first round here is pretty good, I'll take it." Montgomerie, the winner here in 2005, bogeyed his first hole but was pleased overall with his round.

"I got my swing back together," said the Scot. "The greens should be good tomorrow morning and (I) got a good round under my belt and look forward to starting tomorrow. The six-time major winner Nick Faldo, making his first playing appearance after skippering the European Ryder Cup team, also started with a bogey but birdied the next three holes. A double bogey five at the eighth and a bogeys at the 16th and 17th, however, left the Briton eight shots off the pace on 72.

*Reuters