Groom sets pace from Ryder Cup trio

Australia's Adam Groom fired a 64 to take a one-shot lead over the European Ryder Cup trio, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez and David Howell, in yesterday's first round of the Hong Kong Open.

Harrington, of Ireland, the Spaniard Jimenez, Howell, of Britain, and the South African Charl Schwartzel shot five-under-par 65s. Harrington, the world No 6, produced an error-free round to begin his title defence in style at the jointly sanctioned European and Asian Tour event.

"I'm very pleased with this start, but there is a lot of work remaining to be done. It's great to begin this way and nice to get the adrenalin going," Harrington said. Groom bounced back well after failing to win a European Tour qualifying spot last month in Spain. "It feels good to be on top of the Ryder Cup stars. I was steady all day and it was quite a start for me," he said.

Howell, making his first appearance in Hong Kong, stormed home after shooting four of his five birdies on the back nine. "It is very rare for me to have a bogey-free round and I'm absolutely delighted. The key was I made no mistakes and kept it in play all along," Howell said.

Jimenez had one bogey early in his round, but made up for it with an eagle at the par-five 12th hole, his third, and never looked back. "I hit it very well on to the greens like I did last week. I like playing in this part of the world. The people are nice, the weather is nice and the food is nice," said Jimenez, twice a winner in Asia this year and joint runner-up in last week's Korea Open.

Two shots off the pace on four-under-par 66 were the Frenchman Gregory Havret, the American Brian Saltus, Harmeet Kahlon, of India, Scott Barr, of Australia, Alessandro Tadini, of Italy, and Derek Fung of Hong Kong. Jose Maria Olazabal, the winner of two majors, was three shots adrift of the leader, while Stephen Dodd, of Wales, was one stroke further behind on 68. The six-times major champion Nick Faldo shot a one-under-par 69, as did Thomas Bjorn of Denmark.

* The American Bob Estes shot a record-equalling nine-under-par 63 to lead the first round of the Australian PGA Championship yesterday. Estes, 38, sank nine birdies in a flawless opening round at Coolum, on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, to finish the opening day a single shot clear of the field.

* The Welsh Ryder Cup player Phillip Price lies joint second after the first round of the US Tour qualifying school in California. After starting with a bogey, Price picked up shots at the fourth and seventh, and then had four more in a row from the 11th for a five-under-par 67. It put him only one behind the American Scott Gump.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas