Shanghai, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Graeme McDowell opened up with a first- round, 5-under 67 on Thursday and he holds a 2-shot lead at the WGC - HSBC Champions. McDowells last victory on the European Tour came at the Alstom Open de France earlier this year, while his latest PGA Tour win was at the 2013 RBC Heritage. Obviously the course played fairly difficult today, said McDowell. The wind direction had switched completely from practice, some of the game plan had switched a little bit and some of the holes were playing pretty long. A big key to this golf course is driving the ball well and I drove it very well today. I think I missed only one fairway, which is very important. The greens are in fantastic shape and I actually putted very well U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker, Chris Kirk, Tim Clark and Tommy Fleetwood are tied for second at 3-under 69 at Sheshan International Golf Club. Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Hyung-sung Kim, Bill Haas, Jordan Spieth, JB Holmes, Henrik Stenson, Jaco Van Zyl and Dawie Van Der Walt are all deadlocked at 2-under 70. McDowell, beginning his first round on the back nine, stormed out of the gate to grab the early lead and he never let go despite a couple miscues down the stretch. The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland quickly got into red numbers with a birdie on the par-4 first. Following a pair of pars on 11 and 12, McDowell drained four birdies in a five-hole stretch from No. 13, with a par coming on 15. After making the turn at 5-under with a par on 18, McDowell kept going strong with another par on one followed by a pair of gains on two and three. At 7- under through 12 holes, McDowell finally began to slow down as he dropped his first shot on the par-4 fourth. After a trio of pars from No. 5, McDowell bogeyed his second hole at eight, dropping him back to minus-5. He finished with a par at No. 9 to end there. Seven-under par through 12 holes was a beautiful start, and alghouth I dropped a couple coming in, all in all Im very, very pleased with 5-under par on what I thought was a reasonably tricky day, McDowell said. This is as tough off the tee as I think Ive ever seen this golf course. Kaymer, also playing the back nine first, made the turn at minus-1 after making birdies on 13 and 16 to go along with a bogey on 17. Kaymers second bogey on one dropped him back to even par, but birdies on two and five had him back in red numbers. Kaymer made his third bogey on six, but a pair of birdies on seven and eight got Kaymer to minus-3. He rounded out his day with a par on No. 9. Fowler started off with two straight pars on 10 and 11 followed by another gain on 14. Fowler traded a bogey on 17 for a birdie on 18 to make the turn at minus-3. Birdies on two and eight were canceled out by bogeys on four and seven as Fowler finished his day tied for second at 3-under. Snedeker had a solid front nine with birdies on two and seven. He dropped two shots on the back nine at 12 and 15, but gains on 14, 16 and 18 were good enough to put Snedeker at minus-3 through one round. Kirk made his move up the leaderboard on his first nine with birdies on 10, 14, 16 and 18 to go along with a bogey on 17. Kirk played his final nine at even par with a gain on six and a bogey on five. Fleetwood made the turn at minus-1 following birdies on two and five along with a bogey on six. Fleetwood fell back to even par after a bogey on 10, but he finished strong with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from 13. Clark started off hot with three straight birdies from two, but bogeys on five and seven gave two of those shots back. Another birdie on nine was canceled out by a bogey on 10. Clark then made three birdies in four holes from 13. He also bogeyed 15. NOTES: Of the 80 players to tee off on Thursday, only 27 of them finished the first round under par ... McDowell has 10 top-10 finishes on the European Tour this year, including his win at the Open de France ... McDowells only other victory in Asia came at The Championship at Laguna National in 2008 ... Kevin Stadler and Graham DeLaet both withdrew during their first rounds. Custom Boston Red Sox Jerseys . Hemsky left the Oilers Tuesday night loss to the Dallas Stars in the second period and did not return. Through 48 games this season, Hemsky has seven goals and a total of 24 points. Brock Holt Jersey . -- Oakland Athletics third baseman Scott Sizemore has undergone surgery on his left knee to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. http://www.redsoxjerseyauthenticshop.co ... ox-jersey/. According to a report from the Vancouver Province, the Lions are expected to replace former DC Rich Stubler with defensive backs coach Mark Washington. Pedro Martinez Jersey . 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