Tour News

Bubba grabs lead in China

Two time Masters winner Bubba Watson heads the field in the weather delayed first round of the European Tour’s Shenzen Open in China.

Almost two hours of play was lost due to the threat of lightning with more than 40 players yet to complete their opening rounds when play was stopped due to darkness.

Watson is in the clubhbouse at 6-under with five birdies, an eagle and a bogey to be one ahead of a group of five players including South Africa’s Haydn Porteous and Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee.

Jason Scrivener is the best of the Australians after signing for a 2-under 70 to be in a share of 18th, one ahead Sam Brazel, Wade Ormsby and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox at T32.

Andrew Dodt is at 1-under through 12 holes while Brett Rumford is in the clubhouse at  even par and Scott Hend signed for a 1-over 73.

Nathan Holman’s run of poor form continues, the Victorian at 5-over for his round through 11 holes courtesy of three bogeys and a double in his first nine.

The leader Watson also got off to a slow start with a bogey at the 12th after teeing off the 10th hole but he quickly hit back with three birdies in his next four holes to make the turn 2-under.

A birdie-eagle start to his inward nine kept the momentum going and final gain of the day at the 9th, his 18th, was icing on the cake.

"You know anytime you shoot six under, shoot in the 60s, you’re happy with it but every golfer can pick and choose what they wish they did better,” he told the European Tour’s website after the round.

“But all in all a great day and a good start. I just made putts today. Most of my swings and most of my shots were really good today and there were no bad swings in there so it just made the score better.

"The more you play the golf course, the more you are going to learn it and get better at it and, like the saying is, this is our home course, so after two years of playing it I should know by now."

Young gun Porteous played a somewhat different brand of golf on his way to 67, his scorecard featuring just four pars.

The 22-year-old reeled off 10 birdies, three bogeys and a double to be one off the pace but was focusing on the positives after the round.

"The wind started to pick up on the back nine and I hit the shots that I needed to, especially the last three holes coming in, so to finish with three birdies was pretty much exactly what I was looking for,” he said.

“To have a real bounce back like I did both times where I should not really be dropping shots was key to keeping my momentum in the round.

“My caddie and I have really been talking about trying to stay positive on the golf course, especially after a tough seven months and I did that today and it seemed to pay off."Play will resume at 6.30am local time with the second round scheduled to begin at 7am.

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