For such a nondescript spot on the calendar, the first weekend in December certainly has a ton of great golf going on. Almost all of the sport's biggest names and top players are in action ... albeit tens of thousands of miles away from each other.
If you ever needed any more proof that golf is truly a global game, here it is. In Hong Kong, Rory McIlroy joined Alvaro Quiros and David Horsey (not a big name, but a big day) in setting a course-record 64 en route to leading the UBS Hong Kong Open in the first round. Not bad for the wee fella; he's the one in the white on board the harbor ship above.
Next, we move about 6,600 miles to the west, to South Africa, where a couple of notable fellows in Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel lead the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City. Both players came in at 68; Westwood rolled in a 20-footer for birdie on 18, while Schwartzel -- stop me if this sounds familiar -- unleashed a birdie arsenal on the back nine to drop from 1-over at the turn to 4-under in the clubhouse. Two strokes back? World No. 1 Luke Donald, plus Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell, among others.
And get ready to rack up some more frequent flier miles, as we journey the more than 10,000 miles from South Africa to California. There, 18 of the world's best players are competing in the charity-plus Chevron World Challenge tournament, and hey, look who's right there within sight of the top of the leaderboard: Tiger Woods, coming in at 3-under, just behind K.J. Choi's 6-under.
Not a bad weekend of golf. Going to be something when all these cats end up on the same course together in Augusta, won't it?
- David Horsey