HONG KONG (Reuters) - Rafa Cabrera Bello fired a stunning eagle at his final hole for a flawless six-under-par 64 to take a one shot lead after the opening round of the Hong Kong Open at Fanling on Thursday.
The Spaniard had already picked up four birdies when he lined up his approach shot at the par-four 10th, firing the ball a foot past the pin and watching as it spun back into the hole.
The 32-year-old launched his club into the air in celebration of a round that gave him the lead ahead of Frenchman Sebastien Gros, who was second after carding a five-birdie 65.
“That was really nice, I had perfect distance and I was surprised to see it go in,” Cabrera Bello said.
“I have never really finished a round like that. I played really smart today, made very few mistakes, I hit pretty much every green, I putted really well, so it was a nice walk out there.”
Ten players shared third place at the European Tour co-sanctioned event after shooting 66s.
U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett shot a 68, while his fellow Englishman Justin Rose, the defending champion and Rio Olympic gold medallist, bogeyed the last for a level par 70.
Another Englishman, former world number five Ian Poulter, also dropped a shot at the last to finish with a 68, fuming at the “mental errors” that cost him the three bogeys on his card.
“I‘m rather annoyed, I’ll probably have to go a padded room for about an hour and then I’ll be alright,” he said.
“Over the last few years, I’ve made way too many mental errors and I‘m getting frustrated on the course, which doesn’t help. I’ve got every right to be annoyed ... it’s not like me and I need to rectify it.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty