Golf

Levy and Lee lead the way at Shenzhen International

Wicklow's Paul Dunne completed a four-under-par 68 to join Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva, Holland’s Joost Luiten and French duo Raphael Jacquelin and Gary Stal in joint-fourth
Phil Casey

FRANCE'S Alexander Levy and South Korea’s Soomin Lee shared the lead after a weather-affected opening day of the Shenzhen International in China yesterday.

Levy, who also led the Spanish Open with a first round 66 last week before going on to finish 14th at Valderrama, carded six birdies and no bogeys at Genzon Golf Club to set the clubhouse target on six-under-par.

Lee then completed his own flawless 66 just before play was suspended for the day due to darkness, a knock-on effect of an earlier 45-minute delay caused by the threat of lightning.

The first round was scheduled to resume at 0650 local time this morning, with South Africa’s Brandon Stone just a shot off the lead with one hole to play.

Wicklow man Paul Dunne, who shared the 54-hole lead in the Open Championship at St Andrews last year while still an amateur, completed a four-under-par 68 to join Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva, Holland’s Joost Luiten and French duo Raphael Jacquelin and Gary Stal in joint-fourth.

Belfast’s Michael Hoey slumped to a four-over round of 76 which leaves him with plenty to do to make the cut.

Levy, who carded a 62 at the same venue en route to his first European Tour title in the Volvo China Open in 2014, started on the back nine and raced to the turn in 31 with three birdies and an eagle on the par-five 17th.

Another birdie on the first took the 25-year-old to six-under par and in sight of equalling his own course record, but the world number 110 had to settle for eight pars and an error-free scorecard.
“It’s always nice to shoot under par,” he said.

“I have some very good memories here and it’s nice to play this course where you had your first win. I played good last week, a few bad rounds with the wind but I feel my game is in good shape and I played solid today like the last round in Valderrama.

“I gained some confidence the last few weeks and it’s nice to play a golf course you like. I know the way you need to play well here and it was a perfect day for me.

“Valderrama was really tough and I used a lot of energy on that. This week I don’t practice a lot, I just walk the course, play the pro-am and to shoot six-under today was really good.”

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