Pair Share Opening Lead in China


2007 Volvo China OpenSHANGHAI, China -- Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and China's Ming-Jie Huang each opened with rounds of 3-under-par 68 in breezy conditions Thursday to share the lead after one round of the Volvo China Open.
American Gary Rusnak is alone in third place at minus-2. Two-time European Ryder Cupper Thomas Bjorn is one of 11 players tied for fourth at 1-under- par 70.
Jacquelin got his round going at Shanghai Silport Golf Club with three straight pars. He collected his first birdie on the par-4 fourth.
The Frenchman dropped in back-to-back birdies from the seventh to make the turn at 3 under. Jacquelin moved to minus-4 with a birdie on the 13th.
However, Jacquelin stumbled to his first three-putt bogey at 14. After a pair of pars, he dropped another stroke on 17 with a second three-putt bogey. Jacquelin rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 closing hole to gain a share of the lead.
'I said to my caddie as we set out, anything under par will be good so just try and par every hole,' said Jacquelin in reference to the conditions. 'We knew we would have to chip and putt all day long. Par would have been a good score and 3 under is even better. It is going to be tough to score under par so you just have to try and save pars on every hole.'
Huang, who started four groups in front of Jacquelin, got off to a horrible start. He bogeyed each of the first three holes.
He finally got one stroke back with a birdie at the fifth, but gave that shot right back as he bogeyed the sixth. Huang caught fire late on his opening nine.
Huang birdied four straight around the turn from the eighth to get back to minus-1. He birdied the par-4 13th to move within one of the lead. Like his co-leader, Huang closed with a birdie on the 18th to post 3 under.
'To win the Volvo China Open is every players' desire,' Huang said. 'It would mean a lot more to me being a Chinese player to win the Open in my homeland.'
Rusnak dropped a shot on 12, but came right back to birdie the 13th. He carded birdies on 15 and 18 to turn at minus-2. The American faltered to a double-bogey on No. 5. He atoned for that error with birdies on six and seven to end one behind the leaders.
Bjorn was joined in fourth place by Yasin Ali, Adam Blyth, Robert-Jan Derksen, Christopher Hanell, Michael Jonzon, Richard Lee, Graeme McDowell, Unho Park, Zhi-Feng Qiu and Richard Sterne.
Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, the runner-up last year, opened with an even-par 71. He is tied with 11 other players in 15th place.
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