Shenzhen, China (SportsNetwork.com) – Wen-yi Huang fired a 6-under 66 on
Thursday to grab the first-round lead at the inaugural Shenzhen International.
Huang is making his first European Tour start of the season. He made the cut
in two of his eight tour events in 2014.
Byeong Hun An and Peter Uihlein, the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Amateur winners, are
tied for second place at minus-5 at Genzon Golf Club. They were joined there
by Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Felipe Aguilar.
Darren Fichardt is alone in sixth place at 4-under 68. Ross Fisher and Matteo
Manassero are among 10 players tied for seventh at minus-3.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson mixed five birdies and three bogeys in
a round of 2-under 70. He headlines a large group tied for 17th place.
Huang played the back nine first on Thursday and opened with three straight
pars. He moved into red figures with back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14.
After a par on 15, Huang stumbled to a bogey on the par-3 16th. He atoned for
that mistake with a birdie at the 18th.
Huang also birdied the first and second to make it three in a row. He dipped
to minus-3 after a bogey on the third, but bounced right back with a birdie at
The 34-year-old birdied the sixth and followed with a pair of pars. Huang
birdied the par-5 ninth, his last, to grab the first-round lead.
“Last year, I played very bad,” admitted Huang, who started playing golf at
the age of 22. “This year, I have changed my swing and yesterday, I changed
the driver and I like the new driver. I like the course; the green speed is
An opened with birdies on the 11th and 13th. He tripped to a bogey at the
16th, then ran off seven consecutive pars from the 16th.
The 2009 U.S. Amateur champion flew up the leaderboard late in his round. An
birdied the sixth to move back to minus-2. After a par on the seventh, An
carded a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth. He closed with a birdie at the ninth
to grab a share of second place.
Uihlein, who was first group out off the first tee, stumbled out of the gate
with a bogey at the first. He came right back with a birdie on the second, but
dropped another stroke on No. 4.
The American parred four in a row from the fifth. Back-to-back birdies at nine
and 10 moved Uihlein into red figures for good. He soared into a share of
second place with four birdies in the final five holes.
“Nice three in a row and four of the last five. I’m definitely pleased,”
Uihlein said. “I played Thailand, and had to withdraw with food poisoning,
then played one in Puerto Rico, and then I had a wrist injury and had to take
some time off. Then I switched coaches, so I’ve had a strange six weeks or
Aphibarnrat got off to a fast start as he birdied three of the first four
holes. He later birdied the seventh and ninth to move into a share of second
After four pars in a row from the 10th, Aphibarnrat tripped to a bogey at the
14th. He got that stroke back with a birdie at the 17th and closed with a par
at the last.
Aguilar, who was in the group after Aphibarnrat, parred the opening three
holes before back-to-back birdies at four and five. He ran off five pars in a
row from the sixth.
The Chilean converted a birdie chance at the 11th and made it two in a row as
he also birdied the 12th. Aguilar parred the next four before a birdie at 17
gave him a share of second. He parred the last to end there.
NOTES: Huang’s best tour finish was a tie for seventh at the 2013 BMW
International Open … Aguilar and Andy Sullivan had the only two bogey-free
rounds … Morten Orum Madsen also had a hole-in-one with his coming on the
par-3 12th … Watson is the only player ranked in the top-50 playing this
week with Sullivan, world No. 58, being the second-highest ranked player in