Hong Kong Open: Aaron Rai leads; Tommy Fleetwood four off pace
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 23/11/18 9:58am
Aaron Rai grabbed a share of the lead at the Honma Hong Kong Open, as Tommy Fleetwood made a mixed start to his opening round.
Rai posted a bogey-free 65 in Fanling, mixing three birdies with an eagle to join Australia's Jason Scrivener and Japan's Yusaku Miyazoto on five under.
Englishman Jack Singh Brar is in the group of three players sitting a shot off the pace, while Fleetwood - the highest-ranked player in the field - four strokes back after a one-under 69.
"To be fair, I didn't play very good," Fleetwood said. "I was fine getting it off the tee and drove the ball lovely, which is the important part to do, but my iron play was way off."
Rai followed birdies at the first and 12th by firing his approach at the par-five 13th to tap-in range and making eagles, before adding a 10-foot gain on his penultimate hole.
Scrivener posted four birdies in a five-hole stretch on his back nine to also move into the tie at the top, while Miyazoto carded a final-hole bogey to miss out on the outright advantage.
Singh Brar threatened the leaders when he birdied four of his opening seven holes, only to finish with 11 straight pars, with Arjun Atwul and USA's Micah Lauren Shin joining him in tied-fourth.
Three birdies in the last four holes lifted Sergio Garcia to a level-par 70, while Rafa Cabrera Bello is in the group on two over and Patrick Reed is 10 strokes back after an opening-round 75.
Watch the Honma Hong Kong Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 6am on Sky Sports Golf.