Following a first-round 64, Brooks Koepka leads the way by one at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. Here’s where things stand through 18 holes at the final World Golf Championship of 2017:
Leaderboard: Koepka (-8), Gavin Green (-7), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (-7), Haydn Porteous (-6), Patrick Reed (-6), Paul Dunne (-5), Tony Finau (-5), Wu Ashun (-5), Justin Rose (-5), Matt Kuchar (-5)
What it means: Koepka, the reigning U.S. Open champ, is looking to make 2017 the year he captured his first major and his first World Golf Championship. A victory this week would give Koepka his second win in Asia in as many years, after a victory last November at the Japan Golf Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix Tournament. He is followed on the leaderboard by Thailand’s Aphibarnrat, a three-time European Tour winner, and Malaysia’s Green, who won earlier this month at the Asian Tour’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters, with notable names like Reed, Kuchar and Rose behind them.
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Full-field scores from the WGC-HSBC Champions
Round of the day: After starting on the back, Koepka went out in 5-under 31 when he played a five-hole stretch from Nos. 14-18 in 5 under par, with three birdies and an eagle at the par-5 finishing hole. He dropped his only shot at the par-4 third but added four more birdies to take the early lead at Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai.
Best of the rest: This was a tale of two cards. Green, boring by comparison, was bogey-free with seven birdies and 10 pars, while Aphibarnrat signed for three bogeys and a whopping 10 birdies. The latter played 11 consecutive holes on Thursday without a par.
Biggest disappointment: Defending champion and world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama signed for 2-over 74, a round hampered by a triple bogey-7 at the par-4 third.
Shot of the day: Koepka made up for his only dropped shot with this immediate bounceback birdie at the par-3 fourth:
Now THAT is how you follow a [email protected] is a co-leader again. pic.twitter.com/MBgkNaMLdA
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 26, 2017