Sergio García, playing at the BMW Masters for the first time, made up for lost time at Lake Malaren in Shanghai today when he took the first round lead with an eight under par score of 64. With the greens softened by rain and with barely a breath of wind, the conditions were perfect for low scoring.
The Spaniard duly took advantage by picking up nine birdies and dropping just one shot in what were the opening skirmishes of the penultimate tournament of the European Tour’s prestigious Final Series.
“It’s the kind of round that you are looking for,” García said. “Hopefully I’ll keep improving as the week goes on, and we’ll be out there on Sunday having a chance.”
In joint second place is Byeong-Hun An (S KOREA), the winner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, who continued his fine run of form in BMW tournaments with an impressive round of 65. Alongside him is Victor Dubuisson, the Europe Ryder Cup player from France.
Depending on where they finish on Sunday, it is possible for five players in the field – in order, Danny Willett (ENG), Shane Lowry (IRE), Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Justin Rose (ENG) and Branden Grace (SA) – to overhaul Rory McIlroy (N.IRE) at the top of the Race to Dubai standings with just one week of the European Tour season left to run.
Rose had the most productive day of the five, his score of 67 leaving him just three strokes off the lead and confident of making his move over the last three rounds. “That was a good start,” Rose said. “It has been a long season and I’m a little tired, but I’m really focused on what I have to do this week.”
Of the three German players in the field, double major champion Martin Kaymer took most advantage of the good scoring conditions with a 69. Marcel Siem, the defending champion, had a level par round of 72, as did BMW Golfsport Ambassador Max Kieffer.
On the first day of the tournament, the all-new BMW 750Li xDrive, which is awaiting the pros as a spectacular Hole-in-One prize for the first ace on the par three 17th hole, didn’t find a new owner. With the new BMW 7 Series, BMW has redefined what an exclusive, luxurious driving experience looks like in contemporary, pioneering form.
Groundbreaking technologies in the areas of lightweight design, powertrains, chassis, operating systems, intelligent connectivity and interior ambience underline its mission to bring together unbeatable driving pleasure and long-distance comfort in a luxury sedan.
In the BMW 750Li xDrive model, the new 330kW/450hp eight-cylinder engine is combined with the latest version of intelligent all-wheel drive. The efficiency boost for all drive components results in combined fuel consumption figures of 8.5–8.3 litres per 100 kilometres/33.2–34.0 mpg imp and CO2 emissions (combined) of 197–192 grams per kilometre.
The BMW 750Li xDrive accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. This year, two Hole-in-One Cars have already been snapped up: Chris Wood (ENG) won a BMW i8 at the BMW PGA Championship, while his compatriot Andrew Johnston drove away from the same tournament in a brand-new BMW M4 Coupé.
In the opening round David Howell (ENG) came closest to driving away with the dream car when a superbly-struck shot landed three metres short of the hole and rolled to within two centimetres of the hole before pulling up short. “I thought it was going in,” the Englishman said. “It came up agonisingly short.”