Graeme McDowell soars to a 67 to lead final World Golf Championship of year

Graeme McDowell opened with seven birdies in 12 holes and hung on for a 5-under 67 on Thursday for a two-shot lead in the HSBC Champions.

Sheshan International is as tough as it has ever been with thick rough and narrower fairways. That didn't seem to bother McDowell. He kept hitting it right down the middle and converting putts to open strong in the final World Golf Championship of the year.

Rickie Fowler also got off to a fast start before he settled down. Fowler had a 69, along with Brandt Snedeker, Chris Kirk, Tim Clark and Tommy Fleetwood.

Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson were among those another shot behind.

McDowell is the only player to have finished in the top 10 in the previous three WGCs this year.