Brooks Koepka’s 64 Leads WGC-HSBC
2017 US Open winner Brooks Koepka fired a dominant 8-under 64 to take a 1-stroke lead on the first day of the WGC-HSBC Champions being played at Sheshan International Golf Course in Shanghai, China.
Ranked 11th in the world, Koepka was nearly perfect with just one bogey -that coming on No. 3. He was 3-under at the turn and lights out on the back nine, with birdies on 14, 16 and 17 followed by an eagle on the par-5, 492-yard No. 18.
He has a oe-stroke lead over Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and unheralded Malaysian Gavin Green, ranked just 166th in the world.
Green peppered the course with seven birdies against not one bogey, while Aphibarnrat collected his birdies in bunches. He started the front nine with four straight and ended the back nine with five in a 6-hole stretch. Three bogeys kept him from taking the outright lead.
South Africa’s Haydn Porteous and the US’ Patrick Reed are tied for fourth at 6-under. This could be a huge weekend for Porteous if he can finish in the top five. He’s currently ranked 75th in the Race to Dubai standings. He’s about 61,000 points behind Matt Wallace, who has the 60th and final spot in the competition.
Wallace is not playing in the WGC-HSBC.
Other scores of note include Justin Rose at 5-under; Matthew Fitzpatrick and Henrik Stenson at 4-under; Marc Leishman and Phil Mickelson at 1-under; and Jon Rahm at even par.