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Hanson ready to chase down McIlroy

updated 3:27 PM EDT, Thu November 1, 2012
Peter Hanson is determined to catch Rory McIlroy in the Race for Dubai by claiming victory at Mission Hills.
Peter Hanson is determined to catch Rory McIlroy in the Race for Dubai by claiming victory at Mission Hills.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Peter Hanson hoping to build on opening round of 66
  • Victory in China will allow Peter Hanson to overtake Rory McIlory in Race for Dubai
  • Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott lead the field on seven-under after first round
  • Peter Hanson on six-under alongside Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson

(CNN) -- Peter Hanson has set his sights on a golden second day at the HSBC Champions as he continues his quest to chase down Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai.

The Swede carded an impressive 66 in his opening round in China and sits just one shot off joint leaders Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott in Shenzhen.

Hanson, who rose to second behind McIlroy last week after winning the BMW Masters, could go top with victory at Mission Hills.

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That will leave the 35-year-old in pole position with just three weeks remaining and the Ryder Cup winner is hoping for more success on Friday.

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"You obviously know that you're playing well but you stay fresh and feel fresh, and I thought I did that," Hanson told the European Tour website.

"I took it pretty easy yesterday after the Pro-Am, only a couple of hours of practise up on the range and on the putting greens.

It's all about keeping the head in the right mindset and keep grinding it out and keep playing aggressive.

"So I'm delighted with the start and hopefully I can build it up on Friday."

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Hanson will need to overtake Oosthuizen and Scott if he is to pile the pressure on World No.1 McIlroy, who decided against playing in China after citing tiredness.

South Africa's Oosthuizen shot a round of 65 to sit top of the leaderboard alongside Australian Scott.

"I don't think I saw a really low number out there but once you look at the leaderboard and see the guys are firing it up, all of a sudden you started seeing birdies," he said.

"I played well - I made five birdies on the par fives, and that got the round going, and then I made two more birdies. I hit a few bad iron shots, but made good up-and-downs for pars and just glad to have a bogey-free round, I'm always happy with that.

"There are three rounds left and a lot of golf to be played. The main key is to try to put myself in a spot to win it on Sunday.

"If I can keep doing what I'm doing on the par fives and hitting fairways, you've got a good chance."

Scott: 'McIlroy can dominate like Tiger'

Scott looked in good touch and the eight-time European Tour winner is hoping to continue his surge on Friday.

"It was a solid day that all of a sudden turned into a really good day," he said.

"I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up finishing close on the last couple holes and I took advantage of that.

"With five par fives, it sets up well for my game, and the plan is to just take advantage of the fives and hopefully hang in there with the leaders all week."

Phil Mickelson is tied for third alongside Hanson and fellow American Bubba Watson following a round of 66.

Ireland's Shane Lowry is also in the hunt following a first round of 66 but after two bogeys on the final two holes, he is desperate to make an improvement.

"I'm happy with six under and I'm in a good position with three days to go," he said.

"Obviously was very disappointed bogeying the last two -- I felt like I had the ball on a string all day and felt like it came very easy to me today.

"Just to bogey those last two was disappointing but six under is a good score out there, and I'm looking forward to the next few days.

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