Hanson continues superb form
Ryder Cup Swede Peter Hanson continued his brilliant form in China on Thursday - and that was bad news for the absent Rory McIlroy.
Four days after beating the world number one to become BMW Masters champion in Shanghai the 35-year-old led the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.
Hanson, with a chance to take over from McIlroy at the head of the European Tour money list, had seven birdies and a bogey in his first 16 holes.
That put him alongside Masters champion Bubba Watson, his playing partner, but while the American then bogeyed the short eighth - their 17th - Hanson played a superb chip from left of the green to remain six under.
As that was happening Dustin Johnson, another of the six-strong United States Ryder Cup contingent, eagled the long seventh from 18 feet and burst to five under to be in a tie for second place with Watson and Ireland's Shane Lowry, who still had seven holes to play.
Twice winner Phil Mickelson was only one further back, while Ian Poulter and Luke Donald both stood three under.
McIlroy and world number two Tiger Woods were both non-starters despite having played an exhibition match in China at the start of the week.
Johnson was not the only one to make an eagle. Mickelson finished with one from 25 feet and that put him alongside Hanson, who also handed in a 66 after breathing a sigh of relief that he was able to play his wayward drive down the long ninth.
Watson was bunkered in two there and splashed out to within 18 inches of the flag for a birdie that made him six under as well.
Lowry, fifth last week and winner of the Portugal Masters three weeks ago, then joined the group by following his outward 32 with further birdies at the 11th and 12th.