Lu breaks down barriers to share lead

Thu 22 Oct 2015

Lu breaks down barriers to share lead

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Hong Kong, October 22: Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih broke down all physical and mental barriers by carding a first round six-under-par 64 to share the opening honours with Italy’s Andrea Pavan at the UBS Hong Kong Open on Thursday.
India’s Jeev Milkha Singh showed his early captaincy form for the EurAsia Cup with a comfortable 65 to take tied-third alongside England’s Justin Rose and former world top amateur Pan Cheng-tsung of Chinese Taipei at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
Rahill Gangjee was tied for sixth together with compatriot S.S.P. Chawrasia, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, Ireland’s Kevin Phelan and England’s Oliver Fisher.
Lu, who underwent a brain tumour surgery three years ago, is slowly getting back to his competitive best at the US$2 million event which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
“For the first six months after my surgery, I pretty much gave up all my confidence and trust because I felt so weak and I didn't think I could play golf anymore. I could hardly walk through all 18 holes.
“But about a year later, I started talking to the Asian Tour and they gave me the opportunity to get back on the Tour and play some events. And finally, I started coming back mentally and physically,” said Lu.
Starting on the front-nine par-four first, the 36-year-old safely navigated his way around the 6,710 yards par-70 course with two bogeys, eight pars and eight birdies.
“I was not feeling very focused after the first three holes. After making a bogey on the third hole, I told myself I’ve got to buck up if not it’ll be a disastrous round.
“Fortunately, I made three birdies in a row starting from the fourth hole and began feeling much better. Things started to look up for me in the back-nine and it ended really well for me,” said Lu.
Pavan also had a round to remember especially in his homeward run where he carded four birdies in his last six holes.
“It was a great round of golf. I can't complain. This golf course is not very long, but it's tricky. I had one bogey and made a few saves. But towards the end, I hit some lovely irons and obviously converted a few chances for birdies. So that was very good,” said the Italian.
Singh regained the trust in his driver and found himself back in a position not seen in a long while.
He stumbled early with an opening bogey but found his way back with three birdies on holes three, four and six. The Indian dropped another shot on nine but stormed home in 32.
“I've got a new driver now in the bag, and I'm hitting the ball much better. I think it's much easier when you get the ball in play off the tee, and then move on from there. So it's happening more often and I think that's why the numbers are coming up,” said Singh.
The Asian Tour honorary member, who will lead Team Asia at next year’s EurAsia Cup, was also delighted with his resurgence in form following a lean spell in Asia and Europe.
“I think I needed a start like this and I'm going to give it my 100% like what I do every week and hopefully this is my week. I'm glad I'm putting myself in the right position and hopefully I can keep going like that from here, and move on to better things.
“In this game, I think when the trust and the confidence comes back, you’ll start putting the numbers on the board. I'm in that process right now and I'm feeling good,” said the six-time Asian Tour winner.
Leading first round scores
64- LU Wei-chih (TPE), Andrea PAVAN (ITA)
65- PAN Cheng-tsung (TPE), Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND), Justin ROSE  (ENG)
66- Kevin PHELAN (IRL), Oliver FISHER (ENG), S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND), Lucas BJERREGAARD (DEN), Graeme McDOWELL (NIR), Rahil GANGJEE (IND)
67-  Chapchai NIRAT (THA), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), Matthew FITZPATRICK (ENG), Roope KAKKO (FIN), LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Richard McEVOY (ENG), Ian POULTER       (ENG), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN)
68- Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA), Unho PARK (AUS), Nathan HOLMAN (AUS), Patrick REED (USA), Kalem RICHARDSON (AUS), Daniel GAUNT (ENG), Jason KNUTZON (USA), David LIPSKY (USA), Victor DUBUISSON (FRA), Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), David DRYSDALE (SCO), Y. E. YANG (KOR), Adam GROOM (AUS), Chan KIM (USA), Jason SCRIVENER (AUS)
Ends