McDowell leads WGC-HSBC by two after 67


Graeme McDowell has finished in the top 10 in the last four WGC events, and he's right back on top of the leaderboard at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Here's the lowdown after Round 1 in Shanghai.

Leaderboard: Graeme McDowell (-5), Rickie Fowler (-3), Brandt Snedeker (-3), Chris Kirk (-3), Tommy Fleetwood (-3), Tim Clark (-3), Martin Kaymer (-3)

What it means: With tough conditions at Sheshan International, it's no surprise a former U.S. Open champion is leading. McDowell hit 13 or 14 fairways and started with seven birdies in his first 12 holes, but he cooled off on his second nine with two bogeys in the final six holes. McDowell led the PGA Tour in strokes-gained putting last season, and his putter hasn't cooled off after needing only 26 putts in his opening round.

Round of the day: McDowell's 67 was two strokes better than Fowler, Snedeker, Kirk, Fleetwood, Clark and Kaymer. They were the only players to break 70 in the first round.

Best of the rest: Eleven players shot 70 and are right in the mix, including Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson.

Biggest disappointment: After winning the FedEx Cup, Billy Horschel's 2014-15 season is off to a shaky start. He missed the cut at the Shriners, tied for 37th last week in Malaysia, and struggled to an 80 Thursday at the HSBC.

Main storyline heading into Round 2: All eyes will be on McDowell as he tries to get off to another hot start and increase his lead over a stout leaderboard that includes Fowler, Snedeker and several major champions in the hunt.