Javier Colomo (Getty Images)
Javier Colomo from Spain, qualified for this event via his Asian Tour ranking, and produced an amazing -6 under par 64 to lead by one shot at the UBS Hong Kong Open on the Fanling Golf Course in Hong Kong. On the other hand the tournament favorite, World number one, and money winner on the European Tour and the U.S. PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy, also the defending champion here could do no better than a +3 over par 73.
Javier, who had his wife on the bag, was delighted with his play;
‘”I’m only here with my wife, the first six months it was very hard for me, and my wife, but now we are more comfortable and more happy, perfect. I played really, really good today from the tee, on the greens, everything, I was very relaxed after the first nine holes, and I had opportunities for birdies and I had luck on the greens.Last year I lost my card on The Challenge Tour and my category in The European Tour, so there’s only one way to go to The European Tour. I had luck to get the card at the Q School on the Asian Tour and now I am 33 in the rankings. That’s perfect, because next year I will play the co-sanctioned tournaments with The European Tour. It’s a very good chance to improve, and why not to win a tournament and go to The European Tour?”
Rory said he felt lethargic;
“I just lacked a bit of energy out there, I felt a bit lethargic and mentally more than physically, if I am being honest. I bogeyed the first, but then just got more frustrated as the round went on. I just felt like I was hitting some decent shots and just not really converting any chances for birdies and I just let it go a little bit. I suppose after last week, and winning the Race to Dubai title, it was always going to be a bit of a letdown, I feel as though I am playing well enough, but I just need to get my head and the golf to match up and I’ll be OK.”
Rory, playing left-handed from the tree’s.
Rory has a lot of work to do tomorrow if he is to make the cut, unbelievable really, thinking that he could miss the cut, after the year he has had. It would be a sad end to the beautiful year.
Miguel Angel Jiménez, another Spaniard, is sitting in second place at -5 under par, he is tied there with Australia’s Andrew Dodt. Miguel, with a wry smile on his face, joked about his age;
“I am like a good bottle of Rioja, because I just get better and better with age. I’m putting very well and it’s a pity I missed a fairway on the ninth and then on the last got a big flyer. It’s an old-fashioned course, not very long, but you need to be very precise.”
Miguel was playing with another of those good golfers from Spain, Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal who is in the group at -4 under par after his round of 66, José said he hit three poor shots on the day;
“I hit three poor shots, but apart from those the rest of the game was pretty solid. Obviously I have to consolidate this the next few days, but it’s nice to have some signs like this one.”
Aussie Andrew Dodt reported he had just fired his round of the year;
“Possibly one of best rounds of the year, solid tee to green and rolled the ball nicely, it was very gusty in places, the wind. You really had to know where you were hitting it. It’s kind of similar to back home in Australia, it’s just a fun course to play.”
Leading Asian player is Lian-wei Zhang from China, who is very handily placed at -4 under par with the popular score of 66. Good Luck to Rory, I hope he plays well tomorrow and makes the cut.