October 31 2013
By PGA TOUR staff
Here are a few interesting facts about some of the leaders after the first round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
>>> Rory McIlroy, who owns a two-shot lead after opening with a 65, has a strong track record at Sheshan International, having finished fourth (2009), fifth (2010) and tied for fourth (2011) in three previous starts here. He is also one of five players (Daisuke Maruyama, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer are the others) to own a share of the course record of 63.
>>> Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who shot 67 in the first round, is currently fourth in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai on the strength of a campaign that includes a victory last week at the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group. The Spaniard has Joined the PGA TOUR as a first-year member for the 2013-14 season.
>>> Jordan Spieth, who opened with a 68, is making his first World Golf Championships start. He was 2 over through his first eight holes, but recovered with six birdies the rest of the way. No player has won his World Golf Championships debut other than Jeff Maggert who won the inaugural Accenture Match Play Championship in 1999.
>>> Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who shot 69 on Thursday, tied for third last week at the CIMB Classic, earning 163 Non-member FedExCup points in the process. Non-members need a total of 278 non-member FedExCup points (equal to last season’s No. 150) to earn Special Temporary Membership, which would allow a player to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions through the Wyndham Championship in an attempt to earn a 2014-15 PGA TOUR card.
>>> Ernie Els, who shot 69 in the first round, is making his 42nd official World Golf Championships start this week, second in series history behind Lee Westwood’s 44. He has two World Golf Championships victories, in 2004 and 2010 at the event now known as the Cadillac Championship, and also has two runner-up finishes at the HSBC Champions, in 2009 and 2012.
>>> Phil Mickelson was cruising at 6-under-par through 16 holes when he suffered a quadruple-bogey on No. 17 and a bogey on No. 18 to fall from second to a tie for 28th. The last time Mickelson made a quadruple-bogey on the PGA TOUR was the par-4 14th hole during the first round of the 2009 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Mickelson went on to win the tournament and finish second to Tiger Woods in the FedExCup.