The opening day of the HSBC Champions tournament at Sheshan International Golf Course was … well, wet. But that didn’t deter a gallery of 500 or so (that’s our guess … some said later in the day the figure approached 2,000) traipsing around for 18 holes to watch world number one Tiger Woods. In contrast, world number two Vijay Singh, playing in the group ahead of Tiger, had just a couple of dozen spectators watching on. Such is life.
Mind you, Tiger deserved the attention. He shot a sparkling opening round of 65 including 10 birdies to be one off the pace at the end of the day. It might have been a 64 if his drive at the last hole didn’t find the sand:
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said the 10-times major winner, who failed to save par after his bunker shot spun off the green. “It was unbelievable. I hit a three wood into the middle of the bunker and buried it. That’s not something I’m used to seeing — not off the tee.”
Meanwhile, Tiger’s playing partner Colin Montgomery had a forgettable opening day, carding a 2-over par 74, while the other member of the group, local favourite Zhang Lianwei, shot a solid 67, urged on by plenty of Chinese supporters.
Shanghaiist is happy to report that the relentless use of mobile phones while players are in the middle of their swings seems to have dropped considerably since the BMW Asian Open in Pudong earlier in the year. In fact, the only person who we saw reach for their handset at an inappropriate moment was a member of the local constabulary. We’re not sure if he was calling for backup or asking someone to bring him an umbrella.
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Also on Shanghaiist:
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright … ish
How much would you pay to see Tiger play?