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Amateur leads Top 5 players at Abu Dhabi

First Round — European Tour — Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship — Abu Dhabi Golf europeantourlogo15Club — United Arab Emirates —

American amateur Byrson DeChambeau turned some heads in golf Thursday in the United Arab Emirates opening with 8-under-64 to grab the first-round lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Aerial shotDeChambeau was a 100-to-1 long shot, according to www.golfodds.com.

Henrik Stenson, making his first start since knee surgery, is alone in second at 7-under. He has a pair of past runner-up finishes at this event. Stenson led the PGA Tour last year in Greens In Regulation at more than 80 percent.

Rory McIlroy and Branden Grace are T-3 at 6-under and two back. Official World Golf Ranking No. 1 Jordan Spieth is T-7 at 4-under. Spieth, who has won eight of his last 31 world wide starts, was slapped with a “monitoring penalty” for pace of play during the round. The penalty is financial as opposed to a stroke violation.

McIlroy and Spieth opened the week both as 4-1 co-favorite to win at Abu Dhabi. Rory has four runner-up efforts at this event.

Other Golf News:

  • Jack Nicklaus turned 76 years old on Thursday. The 18-time major champion continues to design golf courses throughout the world.
  • Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez and Charles Schwab Cup championChampions Tour Bernhard Langer are paired together in the opening round of the Champions Tour debut at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
  • The PGA Tour tees off its CareerBuilder Challenge near Palm Springs with Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson headlining the field.