Shanghai, China – Jamie Donaldson upstaged three of the top four players in the world on Thursday at the BMW Masters.
The Welshman fired a 10-under 62 to grab a 4-stroke lead after the first round at Lake Malaren Golf Club. Donaldson earned his first European Tour title earlier this year at the Irish Open.
European Ryder Cup teammates Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson share second place at 6-under 66. They are two of 10 players from the winning European team that are in the field this week.
The captain from that winning squad Jose Maria Olazabal carded a 5-under 67 and was joined in fourth place by team member and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Michael Hoey.
"It's great to shoot a low round. I hit a lot of good iron shots and had quite a few birdie chances; that's why I managed to score well," Olazabal said. "Tomorrow and the next few days if I want to score well I will have to improve the driving."
Two more players from that Ryder Cup group -- Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose -- are among six players tied in seventh at minus-4.
Donaldson was on fire right from the start. He birdied the first, then dropped in back-to-back birdies at three and four. He sank a birdie chance at the par-3 sixth and came right back with another birdie at the par-5 seventh.
The 37-year-old parred the eighth and ninth to turn at minus-5. Donaldson birdied the 10th and converted another birdie try at 11 to get to 7-under.
Donaldson birdied the par-5 13th and had an outside shot at 59. With five holes left, including a par-5, Donaldson needed to birdie out.
He parred the 14th and followed with a birdie on the par-5 15th. He made it two in a row with a birdie on 16. Donaldson closed with a pair of pars.
"It was one of those rounds where you hit every shot where you want to and every putt where you want to. The course suits me. The fairways are quite generous and if you miss the bunkers you can play aggressive golf," Donaldson stated. "It's an awesome field, so I need to keep playing like that to stay ahead of them."
Molinari had two birdies on the front nine. Around the turn, the Italian poured in four birdies in a 6-hole span to jump to 6-under.
Hanson had threes birdies in a 5-hole stretch on the front nine, but faltered to a bogey on No. 9. He came right back with birdies on 10 and 11, but the Swede tripped to another bogey on No. 12.
Hanson jumped into second place thanks to three consecutive birdies from the 13th.
NOTES: Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the third- and fourth-ranked players in the world, are tied for 22nd at minus-2...Forty-seven of the 78 players in the field broke par in the opening round.