Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott used strong finishes to get to the top of the HSBC Champions on Thursday in Guangdong, China.
Oosthuizen birdied the par-4 ninth hole — his last — to post a 7-under 65 just before Scott came from the back of the pack to match him. Scott finished birdie-birdie-eagle on the front nine to tie Oosthuizen.
The top pair had plenty of company behind them.
Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson opened with 6-under 66s on The Olazabal Course at Mission Hills. They were tied for third with Peter Hanson and Shane Lowry.
Mickelson was pleased with the way he played. He is still using the modified claw putting grip that he began using earlier this fall.
“I hit a lot of good shots,” Mickelson told Golf Channel. “… And I feel very good putting with the grip I’ve gone to.”
Mickelson, the 2007 and 2009 champion here, closed with an eagle 3 on the ninth hole.
Watson also had an eagle, carding a 3 on the 11th hole.