Scotland still on top in China Open

Former prodigy Zane Scotland carded a four-under-par 68 to take a share of the lead midway through the opening round of the Volvo China Open.

Former prodigy Zane Scotland carded a four-under-par 68 to take a share of the lead midway through the opening round of the Volvo China Open.

Scotland was hailed as the new Tiger Woods when he won a competition to find Britain’s next top golfer aged 14.

However, shortly before he turned professional in 2003 Scotland suffered a severe neck injury in a car crash and was unable to practice properly until last season.

The 25-year-old finished 96th on the Order of Merit in 2007 to earn his card from just nine events and carded six birdies and two bogeys today to share the lead at the top of a congested leaderboard.

“I am pleased,” said Scotland. “I didn’t really have much expectation as I haven’t got my sleeping pattern sorted yet, I probably should have got here a bit earlier.

“I got about three hours sleep last night so wasn’t expecting to do well but maybe sometimes it is the best way.”

Scotland was joined by Ireland’s Damien McGrane, fellow Englishman Simon Griffiths, American Jason Knutzon and Li Chao on four-under.

There was disappointment for David Howell, however, as he suffered a final-hole nightmare to drop way down the leaderboard.

The 34-year-old approached the last at three-under but ran up a triple bogey eight to finish level-par after twice finding water.

“I don’t know what to say,” conceded Howell. “Five-under would have been a miracle, three under would have been delightful but level-par was a disaster.”

Paul Lawrie was in the clubhouse on one-under while defending champion Markus Brier was one-under after six holes of his round.

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