On another big stage against another strong field, Louis Oosthuizen made it look easy. Oosthuizen again took advantage of the par 5s at Mission Hills, shooting a 9-under 63 on Friday in the HSBC Champions to build a five-shot lead and break a World Golf Championships record that previously belonged to Tiger Woods. Along with opening a five-shot lead over Ernie Els — his South African mentor — Oosthuizen reached 16-under 128. That’s the lowest score to par through 36 holes in any World Golf Championships event since they began in 1999. Woods had a 15-under 125 at Firestone in 2000, and he was at 15-under 127 at The Grove outside London in 2006 at the American Express Championship. Woods went on to win those events by 11 shots and eight shots, respectively. Els, who skipped the PGA Grand Slam of Golf early last week because of a minor ankle injury, was nearly as perfect as Oosthuizen. He also had a 63 that vaulted him from 19th place into a tie for second with Adam Scott of Australia, who had a 68. Shane Lowry of Ireland (68) and Jason Dufner (66) were another shot behind. Phil Mickelson, a two-time HSBC Champions winner, made double bogey on his last hole for a 69 that left him seven shots behind going into the weekend.
South Korea’s Jiyai Shin and Japan’s Ayako Uehara shot 4-under 68 to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour’s Mizuno Classic. Shin won the event at Kintetsu Kashikojima 2008 and in 2010. She won the Kingsmill Championship and Women’s British Open in consecutive starts in September. Defending champion Momoko Ueda of Japan was a stroke back along with American Angela Stanford, Japan’s Maiko Wakabayashi, China’s Shanshan Feng, South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi and Spain’s Beatriz Recari. Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 71.
Chinese teen Guan Tianlang opened a five-shot lead in the Asia-Pacific Amateur, making nine birdies on his way to an 8-under 64. Guan, who turned 14 last week, is halfway home to becoming the youngest player ever at Augusta National. The winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur gets an invitation to the Masters and to the final stage of British Open qualifying. He was at 14-under 130 at Amata Spring Country Club. Thailand’s Prin Sirisommai and Australia’s Oliver Goss were second. They each shot 65.