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Bogey-free Baldwin sets early pace in China Open

ENGLAND'S Matthew Baldwin claimed the clubhouse lead on the first day of the Volvo China Open after opening with an assured seven-under-par 65.

The 26-year-old seized the initiative at Tianjin's Binhai Lake Golf Club with a bogey-free round to lead by one from Joost Luiten, Scott Strange, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Fredrik Andersson-Hed and Gary Boyd.

"It was very good today so I am happy with that," said Baldwin. "My caddie and I set out this morning with a game play of trying to make 18 pars and take our chances when they came, and it turned out to be one of those days where there were a lot of chances and I managed to take a few of them."

England's Graeme Storm was among a host of players two strokes off the pace, while Sweden's Alexander Noren was posing the biggest threat to the early clubhouse pace after going five under through 10 holes.

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie was on four under after a 68, while Sweden's Peter Hanson and England's Ian Poulter - both of whom enjoyed top-10 finishes at the Masters - found themselves six off the leading pace after 71s.

China's Guan Tian-lang made history when he teed-off to become the youngest ever player on the European Tour at the age of 13 years and 173 days. Guan secured a place in the field after finishing fourth in a qualifying event.

His debut was taxing, however, with two bogeys and one double bogey over his first five holes leaving him four over par and second-last on the leaderboard.


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