There was a three-way tie at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Kiwi Michael Hendry, England’s David Howell and Bradley Dredge from Wales share the top spot after round one.
David, Michael and Bradley all fired opening rounds of -4 under par 68 to occupy first place in the Volvo China Open.
David, who won the last of his five European Tour titles at St Andrews in October 2013 said he was delighted with his progress with his golf game;
“I’m delighted, it’s a really different test this week.”
“We knew it was firm in practice, but it was hard to work out how difficult it was going to be. The scoring showed people are finding it tricky.”
“I drove the ball beautifully today, really found my rhythm on the range and took it out onto the course so I kept the ball in play well and did a lot of things right.”
“There was a decent breeze out there, but really it’s the firmness of the greens that is making it difficult for everyone. The greens are in great condition and you’ve really got to think your way round.”
“The greens were really firm so the big thing was if you were hitting fairways you had chances.”
“It was never easy getting the ball close to the hole with slopes on the greens and the firmness; it was quite tricky round there.
“This afternoon the wind is going to get up and it will be firmer still, so I’d be surprised if four under was beaten.”
Kiwi Michael won on the Japan Golf Tour last week, and he admitted that the win had provided a welcome confidence boost.
“It makes the game a little easier I think, it’s always nice to play tournaments when you’re in good form.”
The defending champion Alex Levy was one behind the leaders after a -3 under par opening effort, sharing fourth spot with Julien Quesne and Marcus Fraser.
Last weeks winner in China, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, opened here with a -1 under par 71, in his quest for back to back wins on the European Tour.