Westwood Confirms In Shanghai
Not only that he looks like a world champion, but he already plays like one. The 37-year-old English, who was just crowned last week world number one – to break in this way Tiger Woods 281-week hegemony, went just one shot behind Francesco Molinari who leads the HSBC Champions Challenge tour in China after a seven-under-par in the opening round. Lee Westwood is now -6, but is expected to shine brighter the next days. As for Molinari, everything seems to go right in Shanghai. Yuta Ikeda of Japan, South Korean Seung-yul Noh and Swedish Henrik Stenson are sharing the third position, all three of them being one shot behind Lee and two behind the Italian leader.
As for Tiger Woods, the American is sitting for the sixth place with Luke Donald and Pablo Martin nearby. On the other hand, Martin Kaymer, the PGA champion opened the Shanghai meeting with a 72, while the defending champion Phil Mickelson went for a 69. Even if is going to take the Shanghai trophy, Lee reminded that this won’t mean one can be considered the best by far. Added the English: “I think the world rankings are reflective of how competitive world golf is at the moment. Nobody is the out-and-out world No. 1. I think that’s partly to do with Tiger not having played quite so well this year, and partly to do with Tiger having made everybody else elevate their games. He’s a victim of his own brilliance. We’ve all had to work harder, and we’ve closed the gap.” The Italian was hitting seven birdies in a bogey-free round of 65 to finish the first day top.
Sixth-ranked Woods didn’t look too concern though. The 14 times major champion said he felt he was simply able to manage very well the distance to come also to the greens. Woods, who continued with three straight birdies to hit in the same time a 5-wood from about 250 yards to 18 feet for a two-putt birdie, competes to his first stroke-play tournament since September. Then he would take part to the BMW Championship.11