McIlroy Leads Shanghai Masters after Round One

Rory McIlroy, who has made headlines recently off the course after dropping his manager Andrew "Chubby" Chandler and International Sports Management (ISM) to go with Dublin based group Horizon, fired an opening round 8-under par 64 to lead the Shanghai Masters.

The reigning U.S. Open champion kept a clean card on his way to the top of the leader board carding eight birdies on the day, including five on the back nine of the Jack Nicklaus designed Lake Malaren's Masters course.

McIlroy leads Hunter Mahan by one, as well as Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and fellow Northern Irishmen Padraig Harrington by three strokes.

"If I can play as solid for the next three days as I did today, I feel as if I’ll be very difficult to beat,” the 22-year old said after his performance.

Though the Shanghai Masters may not be sanctioned by any of the major tours does boats the most lucrative payout of any event during the year.

Total prize pool for the event is $5-million with $2-million of that going to the winner of the event. Which would equate out to be the richest winning prize in golf.

A small field of just 30 selected players will also receive $25,000 appearance fees as well.

Mahan, who trails McIlroy by only one stroke heading into round two, said it was more than just the money that attracted him to the first year event in Shanghai.

"They're building golf courses daily here. This is a place you want to market yourself," said Mahan about playing this week in China.

"No question this is one of those events I think is going to grow through time and get bigger and bigger and I'm excited to be at the beginning part of it."

Though this event is being played opposite the PGA Tour's Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia. I would think the big appearance fees and high payout to the winner will make this a highly sought after field to be a part of in years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment