April 20, 2017: Bubba Watson produced his finest opening round performance in the weather-delayed Shenzhen International to set the clubhouse target six under par 66 to move one-shot clear of the chasing pack.
The big-hitting American has been one of the headline acts in each of the first three editions of the event at Genzon Golf Club as he looks to improve on his best finish of a tie for eighth in 2016.
An early bogey on the 12th was the only blemish of his round, the two-time Masters Tournament Champion then went on to birdie the first and followed up an incredible approach shot to eight feet on the par five second to set up an eagle that catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard.
South Africa’s Haydn Porteous (67) had a roller coaster of a round containing just four pars as he went on to make ten birdies for the day. His compatriot Dean Burmester joins him on five under par alongside Frenchman Grégory Bourdy and German Maximilian Kieffer.
Eight-time European Tour champion Thongchai Jaidee also sits one shot off the pace at five under par through 17. The Thai legend will resume play at 6:30 am tomorrow morning to complete his first round, along with 60 players, due to storms in the area suspending play in the afternoon for an hour and 50 minutes.
South Africa’s Dylan Fritelli (68) is joined by Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and Spain’s Eduardo De La Riva in a share of third with all set to continue their opening round tomorrow morning.