By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM Louis Oosthuizen is certainly enjoying his time at the HSBC Champions. He can thank his putter for a good part of it. Showing the same form that won him the 2010 British Open, Oosthuizen tied the event record with a 9-under 63 -- setting the 36-hole scoring mark in a WGC event in the process -- to take a five-shot lead at 16 under on The Olazabal Course at Mission Hills on Friday in Shenzhen, China. "I made putts," said Oosthuizen, also 11 under on the par 5s this week. "I putted great." Before those putts started to fall, Oosthuizen opened par-bogey. But then he birdied Nos. 3 and 5, eagled the seventh, and then birdied Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 11. He also birdied 15 and 16. Ernie Els, who carded a 29 on the front nine (which would tie his lowest on the PGA TOUR) en route to a 63, was at 11 under with Adam Scott (68). Jason Dufner (66) and Shane Lowry (68) were tied for fourth at 10 under. Phil Mickelson (69) and Dustin Johnson (68) were tied for sixth at 9 under. Oosthuizen, who has birdied or eagled every par 5 through 36 holes, didn't win on the PGA TOUR this season, but did record five top-five finishes. "Still two rounds left," Oosthuizen told Golf Channel. "I'm going to go out tomorrow, same game plan, give myself as many birdie putts as I can and just hope I can make some putts like I did today."
Watch Phil Mickelson card a birdie 3 on the 12th hole on Friday.
Jason Dufner nearly holes his approach on the par-4 14th hole.
Ernie Els carded a 29 on the front nine and kept it rolling with a birdie on No. 12.
It's been quite a season for Ernie Els. And he's not done yet, either. Els carded a 7-under 29 on his front nine en route to a 9-under 63 at the HSBC Champions on Friday in China. He's five shots behind leader Louis Oosthuizen. The 29 would have matched the career-best nine-hole score Els shot at the 2002 British Open -- but the HSBC is a non-sanctioned event. His 29 at the 2002 British also came on the front nine and also in the second round. Els won that week. Will history repeat itself at this week's HSBC? Els, who rallied to win the 2012 British Open, has nine top 25s and five top 10s on the PGA TOUR this season.
Miss the live showing or the re-air of first-round action on Golf Channel? Check out the highlights below to see the day's best shots.
In the opening round of the World Golf Championships–HSBC Champions at Mission Hills Golf Club, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott are tied for the lead at 7-under par total.
Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott used strong finishes to get to the top of the HSBC Champions on Thursday in Guangdong, China. Oosthuizen birdied the par-4 ninth hole -- his last -- to post a 7-under 65 just before Scott came from the back of the pack to match him. Scott finished birdie-birdie-eagle on the front nine to tie Oosthuizen. The top pair had plenty of company behind them. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson opened with 6-under 66s on The Olazabal Course at Mission Hills. They were tied for third with Peter Hanson and Shane Lowry. Mickelson was pleased with the way he played. He is still using the modified claw putting grip that he began using earlier this fall. "I hit a lot of good shots," Mickelson told Golf Channel. "... And I feel very good putting with the grip I've gone to." Mickelson, the 2007 and 2009 champion here, closed with an eagle 3 on the ninth hole. Watson also had an eagle, carding a 3 on the 11th hole.
The top golfers in the world have certainly come to play at the HSBC Champions. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson opened with first-round, 6-under 66s on The Olazabal Course at Mission Hills to grab a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in China. Mickelson, the 2007 and 2009 champion here, closed with an eagle 3 on the ninth hole to join Watson and Peter Hanson at the top while other golfers were still on the course. Watson also had an eagle, carding a 3 on the 11th hole.
Watch Bubba Watson curl in an approach shot on the 188-yard second hole.
Phil Mickelson makes a nice recovery for birdie on the third hole at The Olazabal Course.
Luke Donald plays a brilliant second shot into the par-5 third hole. Did he make an eagle?