Undoubtedly the most eventful round on the first morning of the Foshan Open was produced by Li Hao-tong, who opened with a nine and closed with a seven – and yet signed for a 72.
The young Chinese, who was in the first group out alongside former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson, admitted he was still half-asleep when he hooked his opening tee shot into the water hazard. After two more trips to the water, Li was five over after one hole and facing potential embarrassment, but he showed tremendous courage and mental strength to repair the damage with seven birdies.
Just as he looked destined to post the most unlikely of under par rounds, however, disaster struck again with a visit to the lake guarding the 18th green.
Still, level par was a creditable effort from the 18 year old, who turned professional in 2011 after enjoying a highly promising amateur career.
He said: “My nine on the first was my worst ever score for a single hole – I guess I wasn’t fully awake first thing this morning! But I tried not to think too much about, I just focused on getting the shots back as quickly as possible. The rest of the round went pretty smoothly – except for the 18th hole of course!”
Similarly, Duncan Stewart’s day was anything but regular after he recorded his first hole in one as a professional at the 16th.
The Scotsman struck a perfectly judged nine iron 149 yards into the cup to claim an eagle and a bottle of wine courtesy of the sponsors, Mouton Cadet.
Stewart, who signed for a 68, said: “It looked pretty good from the moment I hit it, but you need a bit of luck for it to go in and today it went my way. I think I’ve had six holes in one but this is my first in a pro tournament, so it means a bit more than the others. It was obviously the highlight of a very good day for me.”