Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Matt Fitzpatrick one off lead as stars shine in Hong Kong

Matt Fitzpatrick one off lead as stars shine in Hong Kong

His compatriot Shubhankar Sharma and England's Matthew Fitzpatrick are now a stroke behind with Jamie Donaldson part of a seven-man group tied for fourth after a blustery opening day.

"The last few weeks of last season it was all about trying to win the Race to Dubai and it's impossible to take your mind off that".

Fitzpatrick, 23, shot a four-under-par 66 on Thursday with a round that included three successive birdies.

Brazel is tied 19th in a group of 16 at one-under-par that also features Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

"New season - let's go again", said Fleetwood, who is playing his fifth consecutive tournament this week.

Fitzpatrick is one off the lead after an opening 66
Fitzpatrick is one off the lead after an opening 66

"That was a really tough, hard morning of golf", he said afterwards.

Playing in sunny, but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

The 26-year-old slipped back to one under with dropped shots at six and nine, but he ended the day on a high note with a good birdie at the 10th which got him to within three of the leader, and he was delighted with his battling qualities on a tricky day for scoring.

"I found it awesome that I started the season here past year, 12 months ago, and then you were watching the last shot be played in the Race to Dubai to decide what happened. Everything felt good today which is always a nice feeling to have when conditions are so tough".

MalaysiaÂ's Danny Chia also ensured a strong Asian Tour presence atop the leaderboard when he returned with a 68 to trail Chawrasia by three shots in tied-11th place that included Major victor Justin Rose of England.

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