#HSBCChampions Rd 1: What they said

Thu 27 Oct 2016

#HSBCChampions Rd 1: What they said

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Shanghai, October 27: Read what leading players have to say following the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday.
Rikard Karlberg (Swe) - First Round 64 (-8)
It was just one of those days; it was a walk in the park. I committed to a lot of shots and hit them perfectly, just as I wanted.
With the wet conditions you just need to be aggressive, bomb to the tee and bomb to the pin, and that's what I did today. I had great distance control. I hit great shots all day except the last hole.
On the 18th my drive didn't fade and I ended up in the bunker and I had a little sand behind the ball. Unfortunately I didn't really catch it and ended up in the rough, short right, in the water. I  had to play it safe and hit a good putt.”
Rickie Fowler (Usa) - First Round 65 (-7)
It’s always nice to start with seven under par, I’m pleased with that. I knew with the soft conditions they were going to try to tuck some pins. It was going to be very scoreable if you drove it in the fairways and I was able to do that.
I played very well tee-to-green and that made things a lot easier from there. It was a stress-free, simple round.
Russell (Knox) and Paul (Casey) have been playing well and we enjoyed each other's presence. We had a good time out there and fed off each other a bit. I don't think there's a threesome that beat us today.”
Russell Knox (Sco) - First Round 66 (-6)
The first round is never my strongest so I’m delighted to get off to a flyer and shoot six under. I didn't put any pressure on myself, but you only get once shot at your first defence, so I want to make sure I have a good time over the next three days.
The conditions were just like this on Sunday last year - very dark and dreich, as the Scots would say, with a little mist and rain. The course played long today, which is fine for me. If it's lift, clean and place, as long as I'm on the fairway, I can compete around here. So it's all about my tee shot to set up my iron game.”
When you're playing with Rickie Fowler, nobody cares if I'm defending champion. So that always takes a little pressure off. It's an honour to be the defending champion and hopefully I can keep my trophy.
Ends.