America’s Keegan Bradley opened with a 7-under- par 65 Thursday, claiming the lead at the WGC Champions tournament in Shanghai. Bradley managed to best world no. 2 Lee Westwood by four shots. In the meantime, McIlroy who hopes to win the tournament opened with a 70.
Sweden’s Freddie Jacobson and Alex Noren and America’s Bo Van Pelt settled for second place after carding a 67 in the opening round.
Bradley, 25, got his first PGA Tour card by claiming a victory in a Nationwide Tour event a year ago and already climbed to 30th place in the world golf standings.
By turning in a good performance at this tournament, Bradley probably made Luke Donald a little nervous. The PGA Tour decided to announce its postseason awards ballot after the HSBC Champions as this event also counts if a PGA Tour member won it.
If there was one golfer threatening Luke Donald as the PGA golfer of the year, it is Keegan. The victory in Shanghai would add up to three wins, including the World Golf Championship and a major tournament.
Should the American win the final official tournament of 2011, his chances of winning the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year would greatly increase which means that he would beat Luke Donald who preferred to stay Chicago with his wife expecting the birth of their second child.