• WGC-HSBC Champions

McIlroy in charge at WGC-HSBC Champions

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy holds a two-shot advantage in Shanghai © Getty Images
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Rory McIlroy hit a seven-under 65 to top the leaderboard at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and leads Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano by two shots.

The former world No. 1 is seeking a first tournament win in 2013, and kicking off on the back nine the Northern Irishman opened up with a birdie on the par-4 10th.

Despite a bogey on the following hole, McIlroy then collected four more birdies to make the turn in 32 shots.

His final nine holes began with consecutive birdies to put him on six-under, and he then ended the day on seven-under to hold the advantage.

McIlroy is currently 62nd in the Race to Dubai, with the top 60 making it through to the World Tour Championship next month.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, like Fernandez-Castano, is two shots off McIlroy, with young American Jordan Spieth and US Open champion Justin Rose on four-under.

Reigning champion Ian Poulter carded a one-under 71 and finds himself low down the leaderboard, with Lee Westwood also on one-under and Luke Donald on two-under.

Open champion Phil Mickelson is also one-under, but the American had shared the lead with McIlroy. However, a quadruple bogey on the par-5 eighth saw him go from six-under to two-under. Mickelson then ended the round with a bogey.

WGC-HSBC Champions leaderboard:

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