Rookie McEvoy rises to equal Faldo record

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Richard McEvoy had always looked up to Nick Faldo in awe, but the roles were reversed as the qualifying school graduate produced a stunning opening round to lead the Hong Kong Open yesterday.

In his first tournament as a full member of the European Tour since winning the qualifying school in Spain last month, McEvoy carded an eight-under-par 62 to finish four shots clear and equal Faldo's course record. McEvoy showed composure beyond his 24 years not to let a bogey on the 12th worry him and instead hit back to birdie three of the last five holes before hailing Faldo's influence.

"Faldo's always had great rhythm and I tried to copy that," said McEvoy, from Shoeburyness, Essex. "Faldo was my man. I was in awe of him really." Faldo, though, cut a frustrated figure as he logged what he called a "messy" round of 69.

HONG KONG OPEN Leading first-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 62 R McEvoy. 66 S O'Hara (Sco), A Johl (Ind). 67 L Zhang (Ch), K Felton (Aus), B Lane, P Harrington, M Campbell (NZ), P Marksaeng (Thai), D Botes (SA), E Loar. 68 C Tsai (Taiw), J M Olazabal (Sp), F Jacobson (Swe), N Sato (Japan), D Geall (Eng), H Kahlon (Ind), P Hanson (Swe), D Fung (Hkg), C Hanell (Swe), M Cort (Eng), S Jeppesen (Swe), T Wang (Taiw), H Otto (SA), G Rusnak (US), D Clarke (NIrl), J Knutzon, S Webster.