SHANGHAI — The only three Americans in the 78-man field were easy to find Thursday in the BMW Masters.
Just look at the top of the leaderboard.
Luke Guthrie packed a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew and flew halfway around the world for one week, hopeful he would at least broaden his experience by playing golf on foreign soil. He got more than he expected. The 23-year-old American took 19 putts — one short of the European Tour record — chipped in twice and had a 7-under 65.
Not only did Guthrie have a three-shot lead, his score was more than 9.67 shots better than the course average.
"It was one of the better rounds I've ever played," Guthrie said.
Even more surprising was the guy right behind him — John Daly, playing for the first time since surgery in July to repair the torn tendon in his right elbow. After a strict rehabilitation of icing the elbow and drinking enough chocolate milk to put on 15 pounds, Daly navigated the 30 mph wind at Lake Malaren without a bogey for a 68.
Another shot back was Peter Uihlein, the only American who didn't seem out of place at this European Tour event in Shanghai.
Uihlein already has won on the European Tour this year, was runner-up twice and is 10th on the money list. He hasn't forgotten his New England roots. Uihlein watched the Boston Red Sox take a 3-0 lead in the World Series before he headed to the practice range, and perhaps it was no coincidence that upon learning of the 8-1 win, Uihlein played 5-under the rest of the way for a 69.
"It's a good day," he said.
Uihlein ended it with an exquisite flop shot from behind the 18th green in which he let the wind hold it up in the air, and used the slope to bring it back to tap-in range.
The biggest surprise was the wind, which ripped across Lake Malaren all day and made the greens particularly fast, firm and crispy. Only 13 players managed to break par, a group that included Graeme McDowell (70) and Rory McIlroy (71).
At Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ryan Moore had 10 birdies in a 9-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic.
Keegan Bradley opened with a 65 on Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club's West Course in the event also sanctioned by the Asian Tour. Sergio Garcia was another stroke back, and Rory Sabbatini, Boo Weekley, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Chris Kirk and Chris Stroud shot 67. Phil Mickelson had a 71.
The tournament is an official PGA Tour event for the first time. The winner will receive a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a spot in the Masters.
LPGA Taiwan Championship
At Yangmei, Taiwan, defending champion Suzann Pettersen shot a 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
The second-ranked Pettersen has three LPGA Tour victories this year.
Americans Alison Walshe and Irene Cho, France's Karine Icher and Sweden's Caroline Hedwall were tied for second.