Shanghai, October 25: Patrick Reed shot a stunning 64 to take a two-shot lead after the opening round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Starting at the 10th, Reed was quickly in the red thanks to a 20-foot putt at the 11th and he backed that up with another birdie at the next hole to give him some early momentum.
Reed's day continued to improve and by the turn he was four under thanks to further gains at 15 and 16.
In the blink of an eye he was another three shots to the good as he started his back nine with a flourish, a final birdie at his last hole completing an impressive day for the Masters champion.
Leading the chase is Reed's Ryder Cup team-mate Tony Finau at six under, the 29-year-old tied with compatriot Xander Schauffele.
Finau could have had second spot to himself after a thrilling opening round, but he bogeyed the sixth as he carded a 66.
Matt Fitzpatrick is the leading European contender after a 67, while Billy Horschel, Tommy Fleetwood and Rafa Cabrera Bello are a shot further back on five under.
Defending champion Justin Rose signed for a 69, a feat matched by Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, George Coetzee and Matt Wallace.
Further back, Rory McIlroy could only get around in level par, bogeys at three and six hampering his progress, while a double bogey at the 16th – which included him playing one shot left handed – left him with a 72.
Meanwhile, Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar carded an even par 72 but debutant Shubhankar Sharma crashed to eight-over 80 on the opening day of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday.
While Bhullar hit three birdies and as many bogeys in his 72, Shubhankar was unable to tame the windy conditions at the Sheshan International Golf Club and ended up with eight bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies.
Bhullar, who is coming off a week's rest after the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, is lying tied 27th as only a third of the field broke par. Shubhankar, who hit the headlines with his Tied 9th finish at his maiden WGC earlier this year in Mexico, was 77th and last as Eddie Pepperell and Chris Wood withdrew.