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Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Westwood keeps pace with McIlroy

-8 U Duangdecha (Tha) -7 RJ Derksen (Ned) -6 G Bourdy (Fra), D Dixon (Eng), T Jaidee (Tha), W-T Lin (Tpe) Selected others: -4 R McIlroy (NI), L Westwood (Eng) -2 I Poulter (Eng), MA Jimenez (Spa), S Dyson (Eng) -1 C Montgomerie (Sco) Par O Wilson (Eng)

Lee Westwood
Westwood birdied the last to finish with four under

Race to Dubai rivals Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy shot matching rounds of 66 on the first day of the Hong Kong Open.

The pair are four shots off the pace set by Thailand's Udorn Duangdecha, who leads after an eight-under-par 62.

England's David Dixon is in a group of four on six under. Ian Poulter is two under, one ahead of Colin Montgomerie.

Westwood leads McIlroy by $80,000 in the battle for the $1.5m bonus on offer for Europe's number one at the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

The top 60 earners on the European Tour after this week in Hong Kong will take part in the $7.5m championship in Dubai.

Victory for 20-year-old McIlroy in Hong Kong would move him to the top of the standings.

But Westwood birdied the last at a rain-hit Fanling course to keep pace with McIlroy after the first round.

"It was good, the only green I missed was the last hole I played and it is a tough green at number nine. I had a lot of chances," said Westwood, playing in Hong Kong for the first time.


"The greens are puzzling, I think I am at a disadvantage having only played the course once before.

"It is pretty obvious tee to green but there is a big advantage having played a few tournaments around here so, to start with a 66, I am delighted because the only two bogeys I made were three-putts and I missed a lot of chances."

The day one plaudits went to the unheralded Duangdecha, who missed out on equalling the course record when he finished his round with a bogey in fading light.

The 39-year-old leads by one shot from Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen.

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see also
Westwood chips in on 606
11 Nov 09 |  Golf
McIlroy eyes European top spot
10 Nov 09 |  Golf
Mickelson holds off Els in China
08 Nov 09 |  Golf
Asian event joins elite WGC list
28 Apr 09 |  Golf
Garcia beats Wilson in Shanghai
10 Nov 08 |  Golf
Mickelson triumphs after play-off
11 Nov 07 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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