WGC HSBC Champions: Fitzpatrick makes a strong start in China
The Sheffield golfer fired a four under par 68 at the Sheshan International to sit four points off overnight leader Brooks Koepka.
Fitzpatrick made an electric start, with birdies on four of the first eight holes but carded a bogey five on the ninth to slip back before the turn. A couple of birdie threes were carded on the back nine, sandwiching a bogey on the par five 14th.
His second round was set to begin at 2.20am on Friday alongside compatriot Tyrrell Hatton.
Hatton also sits on -4 as he seeks a hat-trick of consecutive victories after winning the Dunhill Links and Italian Open.
Leader Koepka carded seven birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey to finish eight under par, a shot ahead of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Gavin Green.
American Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed and South Africa’s Haydn Porteous were two shots back on -6, with Olympic champion Justin Rose and Ireland’s Paul Dunne part of a five-strong group on five under.