Date: November 08, 2007

Fasth and Stadler Shanghai opposition

Niclas Fasth and Kevin Stadler have raced into the lead at the HSBC champions in Shanghai leaving several big names, including Australian Brett Rumford, in their wake. Padraig Harrington, US Open champion Angel Cabrera and world number two Phil Mickelson all shot opening round four-under-par 68s but were overshadowed by Fasth and Stadler, while Vijay Singh remains just three strokes adrift of the leaders in third place. From the outset, the in-form Fasth looked to be in for a good round, carding a birdie and an eagle on the first two holes on his way to an eight-under 64. Stadler, who was fortunate to keep his full PGA Tour card for 2008 after finishing 124th on the overall prize money list, started in a similar vein, carding six birdies on the front nine before adding a further three birdies and a bogey coming home. Their closest competition came from Fijian Singh, who produced a solid five-under 67, although several big names including the in-form Cabrera who won the Singapore Masters last weekend, are right on their hammer. For the Australian contingent, three players are five strokes off the pace on three-under after carding 69s on the first day in Shanghai. Scott Hend could only make one birdie on his front nine, but three birdies – including two on the last two holes – and a bogey coming home saw him into a share of 12th position alongside Rumford and Scott Sterling. Rumford, meanwhile, had an up and down round that saw him card four birdies, three bogeys and an eagle in his 69 as Sterling produced a consistent four birdies and a bogey on his way to that score as well. Those three players are four strokes ahead of a quartet of Australians – Nathan Green, Richard Green, Rod Pampling and John Senden – at one-over, while Nick O&aposHern, Marc Leishman and Paul Sheehan are a further stroke back after carding 74s in round one.