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SHANGHAI – Rikard Karlberg made his World Golf Championships debut with an 8-under 64 to take a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler in the HSBC Champions on Thursday.
One year after Russell Knox won in his first WGC at Sheshan International, Karlberg took an impressive first step. The Swede was 9 under through 16 holes on a soggy course before scrambling for par on the 17th and then taking his lone bogey on the par-5 18th when he drove into a fairway bunker.
Fowler attacked the par 5s in his first round since the Ryder Cup.
Knox, Daniel Berger and Hideki Matsuyama were at 66.
Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson never got anything going. McIlroy had a 71, while Johnson struggled to hit fairways and made only one birdie in a 74.