Published Thursday, 25 October 2012
Team Europe are reunited in Shanghai. (© Getty)
Welshman Jamie Donaldson is the man to catch though, after he got off to a flying start at the Lake Malaren course.
He racked up five birdies on the front nine and another five on the back nine for a 10-under-par 62.
"I wasn't pushing anything - I just kept trying to put the ball in play and hit a lot of fairways," he told the European Tour website, after Thursday's opening round.
"The putts all went in today. You can play well, but the putts don't go in and it's not as good a score."
Hoey and McIlroy both finished on five-under-par 67s, while compatriot Graeme McDowell was another two shots back and Darren Clarke finished on a one-over-par 73.
The Ryder Cup's Team Europe were well represented, with everyone bar Sergio Garcia competing.
"It was great to see them - it was nice to get that feeling back," captain José María Olazábal, who also tied on 67 with Hoey and McIlroy, said.
Team Europe's Peter Hanson and Francesco Molinari are currently tied in second place on six-under-par 66s, while Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood all also feature in the top 25.
"A few weeks ago, 12 individuals came together as part of the team and now we're back playing on our own and trying to beat one another," McIlroy, reigning world number one, said.
"It's been good to see the guys and talk about it a little bit more and hear what they have been up to for the couple of weeks since. But now we are all trying to beat each other out there again."