Peter Hanson (Getty Images)
Peter Hanson made a flying start to the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions as the Swede’s Race to Dubai challenge continued to gather momentum in Shenzhen.
The 35 year old was four under par through ten holes at Mission Hills to hold an early share of the first round lead with South Africa’s Hennie Otto.
Starting at the tenth, Ryder Cup star Hanson continued his rich vein of recent form with birdies at the tenth and 15th.
A three-putt bogey at the 16th was followed by a 20 foot birdie putt at the short 17th and another gain at the next saw him turn in 33.
Last week’s BMW Masters winner then holed a 50 footer at the first, and after victories in Shanghai and The Netherlands in recent weeks, was in with a great chance to increase the pressure on Rory McIlroy at the top of The Race to Dubai.
South African Otto, a two-time European Tour winner, had an eagle at the long third and birdies at the fourth and sixth, with Masters Tournament Champion Bubba Watson, his fellow American left-hander Phil Mickelson, Otto’s compatriot Garth Mulroy and Korean Jang Ik-jae on three under.
Hanson reached five under at the long third, but it was still not enough for the outright lead as he was joined by Jang, Mulroy, Watson and Frenchman Julien Quesne.
The 22 year old has made just seven of 18 cuts since winning his maiden European Tour title, but three birdies and an eagle at the seventh gave the Open de Andalucía Costa del Sol winner an outward 31.