Watney second favourite behind Tiger

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Nick Watney has been slashed from 80/1 to 7/1 by Stan James to win the HSBC Champions after shooting a day one 64.

Nick Watney has been slashed from 80/1 to 7/1 by Stan James to win the HSBC Champions after shooting a day one 64.

The American, who won at Torrey Pines on the US Tour earlier this season, has a two-shot lead after his record-equalling eight-under par round (which saw him take just 22 putts) at the Sheshan International GC in Shanghai and he’s now second favourite behind Tiger Woods.

Woods kept his place as the clear market leader after six birdes and a single bogey saw him sign for a five-under 67, three shots behind Watney. Tiger, a 2/1 shot pre-tournament, is now 11/8 with Betfred to take victory in an event in which he’s finished runner-up the two times he’s played it.

Martin Kaymer, a play-off loser in the Castello Masters in his comeback from injury two weeks ago, again showed no ill effects from his recent go-kart accident and sits second behind Watney at six-under.

The German now ranges from 9/1 to 11/1 after being 40/1 at the start.

Phil Mickelson, the winner here two years ago, got off to a steady start by shooting a three-under 69 and can be backed at 14/1 with Paddy Power.

Paul Casey had injury concerns coming into the event and that’s why the world no.4 was being quoted at 50/1.

But the Englishman is now just 16/1 in places after shooting 67 and finishing alongside Woods at five-under.

Anthony Kim, who lost to Ross Fisher in the Match Play final last week, also carded 67 and is 16/1 while Ireland’s Shane Lowry and American Ryan Moore, who are tied second at six-under, can be backed at 66/1 and 22/1 respectively.

Those whose odds are on the drift are defending champion Sergio Garcia and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.

Garcia is tied 69th of the 78-man field after slumping to a three-over 75 while Harrington is 10 off the lead after a 74.

It means Garcia is now 150/1 while Harrington can also be backed a three-figure odds.

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