SHANGHAI (AP) — Luke Guthrie took only 19 putts in his round of 7-under 65, giving Americans the top three spots on the leaderboard Thursday in the BMW Masters.
Only three Americans are in Shanghai for the European Tour event. And one of them is John Daly, playing for the first time in nearly four months since surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right elbow.
Equally surprising was Guthrie, a promising young American who is taking a break from the start of a new PGA Tour season because he wanted more experience in the growing world of golf. He showed plenty of game on a day of 30 mph wind so difficult that only 13 players broke par.
Daly relied on knockdown shots to cope with the wind and kept bogeys off his card for a 68. One shot behind was the one American that could have been expected to contend at Lake Malaren — Peter Uihlein, a European Tour member who already has one win this year and is 10th on the money list.
The wind was relentless and contributed to threesomes taking some 5½ hours to finish.
Graeme McDowell, trying to chase down Henrik Stenson in the Race to Dubai, holed a 90-foot eagle putt on the 13th hole in his first tournament as a married man. McDowell was at 70, part of a group that included Paul Casey, Thongchai Jaidee and Wales Open winner Gregory Bourdy. Rory McIlroy, equipped with a new golf ball, drove the ball beautifully in the blustery conditions and shot 71. Stenson opened with a 72.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Ryan Moore had 10 birdies in a 9-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic.
Keegan Bradley opened with a 65 on Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club's West Course in the event also sanctioned by the Asian Tour. Sergio Garcia was another stroke back, and Rory Sabbatini, Boo Weekley, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Chris Kirk and Chris Stroud shot 67. Phil Mickelson had a 71.
The tournament is an official PGA Tour event for the first time. The winner will receive a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a spot in the Masters.
LPGA TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP
YANGMEI, Taiwan (AP) — Defending champion Suzann Pettersen shot a 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
The second-ranked Pettersen has three LPGA Tour victories this year.
Americans Alison Walshe and Irene Cho, France's Karine Icher and Sweden's Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Local favorite Yani Tseng, the 2011 winner, had a 76.