SHANGHAI — Lee Westwood figured a 5-wood would be enough to carry the water on the par-5 18th and set up an easy birdie for a share of the lead Friday at the HSBC Champions.
Only when he got to the green did he realize the hole was closer to the edge of a slope than usual, and that his position some 15 yards left of the pin made it nearly impossible to keep it on the green. The English star had to settle for par, leaving him one shot behind Italy’s Francesco Molinari.
Molinari followed his opening 65 with a 70 to reach 9 under at Sheshan International in the World Golf Championship event. Westwood, playing his first tournament since replacing Tiger Woods atop the world ranking, also had a 70. Ernie Els (65), Jaco Van Zyl (66) and Richie Ramsay (68) were 7 under.
Woods (72) and Phil Mickelson (71) were in a group at 4 under.
|Charles Schwab Cup|
SAN FRANCISCO — Defending champion John Cook shot a 2-under 69 at Harding Park to take a one-stroke lead over Tom Kite and Tom Lehman in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
A day after opening with seven birdies in a bogey-free 64, Cook was even par through 15 holes before he eagled the par-4 16th. He followed with pars on the final two holes to get to 9-under 133.
Last year, Cook won at Sonoma Golf Club.
Kite had a 67, and Lehman shot a 68.
Mark O’Meara (65), Russ Cochran (68) and Fred Funk (70) were 7 under, and Schwab Cup points leader Bernard Langer (69) was in a group at 6 under after a double bogey on No. 17. Fred Couples was 4 under after a 69.
Couples needs to win to catch Langer in the two-man race for the $1 million annuity. Even if Couples wins, Langer would take the top prize with a two-way tie for fourth or better.
SHIMA, Japan (AP) — South Korea’s Jiyai Shin and Japan’s Yukari Baba shot 7-under 65s at Kintetsu Kashikojima to share the first-round lead in the Mizuno Classic.
Shin, No. 1 in the world rankings, won the tournament in 2008.
Morgan Pressel opened with a 66, and Na Yeon Choi, coming off a successful title defense last week in South Korea in the LPGA Hana Bank Championship, was two strokes back at 67 along with Miki Saiki, Karine Icher, Meena Lee and Chie Arimura. Japan’s Ai Miyazato, a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour this season, shot a 72.
The tournament is sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and Japan LPGA.