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November 13, 2009

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Udorn leads elite pack after first round in HK

UDORN Duangdecha shot an 8-under 62 with 10 birdies yesterday to lead Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands by one stroke after the first round of the Hong Kong Open.

The little-known Thai also had two bogeys at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Defending champion Lin Wen-tang (64) of Chinese Taipei was two strokes behind, tied for third with Gregory Bourdy, David Dixon and Thongchai Jaidee, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader.

Eyeing the European Tour money title, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy both shot 66. The duo are the top two money winners in the Race to Dubai, and the Hong Kong Open is the penultimaate tournament before the season-ending event in the United Arab Emirates next week, which has a US$7.5 million bonus prize pool.

They are tied with 11 others at 4 under, including PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang and 1998 British Open and Masters champion Mark O'Meara.

Oliver Wilson (70) had three birdies but double-bogeyed the 18th. Ian Poulter (68) was tied for 40th and Colin Montgomerie (69) was tied for 65th.

In Wellington, New Zealand, Anthony Kim won the Kiwi Challenge tournament despite making a bogey in a playoff, beating fellow American Sean O'Hair to win the US$1 million check at Cape Kidnappers.

Kim shot a 5-under 66 and was leading over the back nine until O'Hair made a birdie on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69 to force a playoff in the 36-hole exhibition for players under 30.

O'Hair found trouble left of the 650-yard 15th hole and made a double bogey, allowing Kim to win by taking four shots to reach the green and two-putting for a bogey.

Hunter Mahan of the United States shot 67 to finish three strokes behind, while Colombia's Camilo Villegas (72) was another shot behind.


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