<
>

Hennie Otto posts 63 to lead China Open

BEIJING -- Hennie Otto had seven birdies and an eagle in an opening round of 63 on Thursday to lead the China Open at 9 under.

It was Otto's lowest round in a European Tour event since he won the 2014 Italian Open.

The 39-year-old South African started on the 10th and had three birdies before turning in 33, then added birdies at Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 7 before chipping in for eagle on the par-5 eighth.

"The first hole I saved a good par, and I think that gave me momentum," said Otto, who has been working hard on his putting game. "You have to hit it in the right places, and that's the thing I did today. I hit them close. That makes a big difference."

Bernd Wiesberger of Austria had eight birdies and a bogey for a 65 and was two shots behind.

Gregory Bourdy of France, Sweden's Peter Hanson, Roope Kakko of Finland and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti shared third at 6 under.

Joost Luiten, who has finished second in his past two events, including the Shenzhen Open last weekend, was in a three-way share of seventh at 5 under.

Rikard Karlberg won a Volvo car when he holed out with a 7-iron on the 212-yard, par-3 16th for a hole-in-one during his round of 69.

Defending champion Wu Ashun, who became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil last year, opened with a 71.