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  • China Open winner Alex Levy leads after superb 65
  • Nicolas Colsaerts, Emiliano Grillo & Romain Wattel all one back
  • 2014 Final Series begins with third edition of BMW Masters
  • First of four season-ending events worth 40m points on Race to Dubai
  • Get involved on Twitter with #ETLiveBlog

By Will Pearson and Dave Clark in Shanghai


Day 1 Highlights - BMW Masters


And that's a wrap following a fine Thursday at Lake Malaren as the 2014 Final Series began with a bang - not least for Frenchman Alex Levy. Let's finish up with the story of the day and we'll catch you back on the #ETLiveBlog bright and early tomorrow morning for more of the same.


Views from the Top - BMW Masters, Day 1


Levy very happy with his form


But let's hear from the main man after an enthralling first day in Shanghai, Monsieur Alexander Levy...


Beach Bum Colsaerts back in the groove

A bit of R&R could yet prove the key to success this week for big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.

"I do like the length of this course, yeah," reflected the Dude following his fine 66. "There's a few holes where they still could have kicked it a bit further back to my taste, but it was good.  They have done pretty well because it was just a slightly different direction wind today and they kept the tees back, which was good for me. I went to Thailand last week where Brian lives, my caddie, which is great.  Didn't really play that much.  Just chilled.  It's been a long couple last years, so I was due a week of nothing and really enjoyed it."


Time for our traditional look back at the day...in numbers...

7 – birdies and no bogeys for leader Alexander Levy in his opening round 65
26 – under par for Levy in his five rounds in China on The European Tour
1 – shot lead for the Frenchman over Emiliano Grillo, Nicolas Colsaerts & compatriot Romain Wattel
2 - Where Levy could move to in The Race to Dubai should he win this week
6 – birdies each for the trio sharing second place
17 – under par for his last three rounds for Wattel
208 - Yardage of Edoardo Molinari's hole in one at the fourth hole with a four iron
3 - Aces now in BMW Masters history and the first since 2012
39 – going out for Justin Rose and 33 coming back for a level par 72
0 – bogeys in Graeme McDowell’s opening round 67
9 – rounds at level par or better for Thongchai Jaidee in nine attempts at the BMW Masters
5 – under par 31 for Richard Sterne on his front nine in the first round
7 – for Jamie Donaldson at the third en route to a four under par 68
9 - Scores of seven and two scores of eight in the first round (Rose and Zi-hao Chen, both at the 13th) 
1 - The hardest hole on the course in the first round, averaging 4.27 with just six birdies and 21 bogeys
2 - The hardest hole on the course in the first round, averaging 3.68 with 31 birdies and just four bogeys or worse
71.49 - Scoring average for the field on day one in Shanghai
4 – birdies, five bogeys, an eagle and double bogey for Kevin Stadler in his eventful one over par 73
7 – birdies for Eddie Pepperell in his first round in a rollercoaster 72


Shots of the Day - BMW Masters, Round One


Nicolas Colsaerts gives his birdie putt from all of 20ft a good go at the last to no avail but that is a fine 66 and a share of second place alongside Grillo and playing partner Romain Wattel, who sinks a six-footer for his birdie at the last following a magical approach from the left rough. Great golf all round. That just about does it action-wise, so now stick around on the #ETLiveBlog for all the best reaction, interviews, highlights, stats and more as we recap day one in Shanghai.


Two very decent putts down the slope on the mountainous par four ninth green for Messrs McDowell and Bjorn and two pars to finish with the Northern Irishman one better off following a 67 while the Dane signs for a 68. Frenchman Wattel in with a chance of catching his friend and compatriot on five under with two to play, while French speaker Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium has two holes to make up one shot on the current leader. Tres bien!


Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn are fourth and fifth in The Race to Dubai coming into this week and they are neck and neck as it stands here in Shanghai. The Welshman is already in the house after a 68, while Bjorn, who the World Feed's Warren Humphries just described as like "an old sea captain" with his impressive beard, is also four under coming down the ninth - his last. Ahoy me hearties (cue the water icon!).


The Belgian Bomber

Nicolas Colsaerts was widely tipped for a decent showing coming into this week what with the Belgian Bomber's prodigious length and 'The Dude' is duly delivering on a damp day one in Shanghai. Colsaerts bags an eagle - just the third of the day - at the long 15th to move within one of the lead with three holes to come. He has previous in this country, of course, after winning the 2011 China Open.


No dice for Wilson at the ninth, his last, as he fails to get up and down from the bunker and finishes with a bogey and a round of 68, three off the lead. Elsewhere, not the day Ian Poulter was looking for as he begins his Titleist odyssey after switching manufacturers recently. Mr Ryder Cup gets a shot back at the eighth - his 17th - though, and in with a chance of salvaging a level par 72.


Trouble for Olly Wilson at the ninth - his last hole today. After missing the fairway left and finding some thick salad, the Dunhill Links winner tugs his approach into one of those perilous deep bunkers - one of 92 on the Masters course at Lake Malaren - and that will have to be a phenomenal up-and-down to preserve his until-now flawless round.


What a good finish that is from Emiliano Grillo, who comes up a bit short at the 18th but rolls in a pearling 25-footer for birdie and a 66 - one shy of leader Levy.


Alexander Levy - seven birdies in his fine opening round 65 at the BMW Masters in China 

LEVY: "For me, this golf course is pretty much the same as Shenzhen.  I like this type of golf course with water and the target golf. I enjoy being in China and I'm going to try my best the last few days and try to do the same things I thought of in April.  I like China, that's for sure!"

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEVY, AlexanderFRA10:30-7
T2WATTEL, RomainFRA09:40-6
T2COLSAERTS, NicolasBEL09:40-6
T2GRILLO, EmilianoARG10:50-6
5MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR09:40-5
T6SIEM, MarcelGER08:50-4
T6WILSON, OliverENG09:10-4
T6BJØRN, ThomasDEN09:40-4
T6GRACE, BrandenRSA10:10-4
T6STERNE, RichardRSA10:20-4

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