HONG KONG, 23 November 2017, (HK Golfer News Wire) - The 23-year-old put on typically strong display of ball-striking as he carded an opening four under par 66 to lie just one shot off the lead set by India’s SSP Chawrasia.
“It's a good start to the week. It's not an easy course around here and I hit the ball great from tee to green. We had a bit of a crowd with us which was great.” Fitzpatrick said.
Chawrasia and Fitzpatrick’s first round efforts were played in the toughest conditions of the day before the Englishman was joined by Chawrasia’s countryman Shubhankar Sharma on four under.
Belgium’s Thomas Detry and Welshman Jamie Donaldson are in a seven-man tie for fourth place on three under, while the two main protagonists in last week’s thrilling finish the to the 2017 Race to Dubai – Europe’s new Number One Tommy Fleetwood and Olympic Champion Justin Rose – continued their fine form by posting matching 68s to move to two under.
Fleetwood finished third on his debut here last season, while Rose won the tournament in 2015.
Masters Champion Sergio Garcia, making his debut in the UBS Hong Kong Open, bogeyed his final hole of the day but was generally satisfied with a level par 70 in his first competitive round at the notoriously difficult Hong Kong Golf Club.