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SHANGHAI — PGA champion Keegan Bradley cares more about counting birdies than votes. He flew halfway around the world with the intention of winning a World Golf Championship, not any kind of an award.

Whatever the case, he sure made this PGA Tour player of the year discussion a lot more interesting Thursday.

Bradley did most of his damage on the par 5s at Sheshan International with three birdies and an eagle, which carried him to a 7-under 65 and a two-shot lead after the one round of the HSBC Champions.

“A very rewarding round,” Bradley said.

Bo Van Pelt extended his awesome Asian adventure. Coming off a six-shot win in Malaysia last week, Van Pelt had 67 and was tied for second with the Swedish duo of Alexander Noren and Fredrik Jacobson.

The PGA Tour felt it should wait until after the HSBC Champions to send out its postseason awards ballot because this tournament counts as official if a PGA Tour member were to win. If there was one player considered a threat to Luke Donald as player of the year, it would be Bradley. Winning in Shanghai would give him a tour-leading three victories, including a major and a World Golf Championship.

Bradley only laughed when asked if his opening 65 was enough to make Donald nervous.

“Maybe,” he said. “You know, all I’m trying to do is win this golf tournament. I know there’s a lot on the line, and there’s some awards to be won. I’m sure Luke is not very interested in this tournament. I’m sure he’s sleeping. But I hope to keep playing well, and let those fall where they fall.”

Donald, the No. 1 player in the world, finished his PGA Tour season in style. He closed with a 64 to win Disney for his second win of the year, giving him the money title and Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average. However, he was kept from playing the HSBC Champions because his wife is expecting their second child any day.

The award is determined by the players, who suddenly are paying a lot more attention.

“There’s only two people in the race as far as I’m concerned — Luke and Keegan,” Adam Scott said. “If Keegan were to win this week, it’s probably a tough decision, but I would vote for Keegan. It’s a major, a WGC and a PGA Tour event in his rookie year. That’s going to be a better year. A major has to hold some weight, and then you add a World Golf Championship.”

“Winning the money title and scoring average is nice and an incredible achievement,” Scott said. “But winning tournaments is what it’s about. Keegan would have my vote.”

Nick Watney said he already has made up his mind. No matter who wins this week, he’s voting for Donald.

“I feel as though Luke has earned it,” Watney said.

Bradley isn’t too wrapped up in the discussion quite yet. He found satisfaction in being the only player in the 78-man field without a bogey. And while his length off the tee was an advantage, he made three birdies on the par 5s with a wedge in his hand. He also had another rookie moment when he found himself in awe of playing alongside Lee Westwood and Scott, even as he outplayed both of them.

“For me, every week I’m amazed at who I’m around,” Bradley said. “And to be in a group like that in this tournament, and to play like that on this course is very rewarding and it means a lot to me ... I know I say this a lot. But I feel like I have to pinch myself out here, because of what’s going on and just how much fun I’m having doing it.”

It’s already been a dream season for the 25-year-old rookie, and it might not be over just yet.

Qingyun Ma, Dean of the University of California School of Architecture, exhibited his past architectural projects as part of the Chinese Architecture Lecture Series on Monday afternoon. Ma has created various award-winning works in several major Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Xian.

Photo Credit: Victoria Montalvo | Daily Texan Staff

China is an architectural powerhouse with new projects constantly underway, said Qingyun Ma, dean of architecture at the University of Southern California.

Ma presented a multitude of projects currently in progress or recently completed in three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai, as part of a four-lecture series hosted by UT’s School of Architecture on Monday.

“So much is going on in China — it’s become a laboratory of architectural ideas,” said School of Architecture dean Frederick Steiner. “Some of the most interesting ideas in the world are there.”

Ma approached the topic of China’s rapid growth with humor and noted the rapidity of the projects currently in progress.

“In China, if you have an idea, it will be done,” he said, laughing. “So you’d better be responsible with your idea because they might build it.”

Ma discussed larger projects, those he said resolve urban issues and bring different programs together to form projects. One of these projects was titled the “Shopping Zoo,” which used the principles of a zoo’s closely connected buildings to draw shoppers into spending an entire day at the center, he said.

Ma also discussed the importance of small-scale projects within Chinese architecture by showing pictures of the building processes. Some of these images included local workers constructing the buildings brick by brick. He said these small projects took place in both China and the United States, and included a hotel, an addition to a bridge and even a house Ma designed for his family in Los Angeles.

Despite the large amount of architectural development, many projects have halted because of loss of funding, Ma said. These dead projects included the addition to a new natural history museum in Shanghai, a mountain-cut memorial and an art museum in Pasadena.

Ma said he is hopeful the projects have potential to resume construction in the future.

“We have a very good attitude to the notion of dead projects,” he said. “Some will get built because it’s the right fit.”

Graduate architecture student Nate Schneider said he found the lecture to be enlightening about some of the most current examples of Chinese architecture.

“It’s kind of amazing — the scale that they’re designing and building in China,” Schneider said. “I thought the speaker had a fresh approach to architecture.”

Ma said he hoped to convey architecture as something with a broader goal than the construction of new projects.

“My hope is that we realize that architecture is global,” he said. “[And] that our goals are interconnected.”

Printed on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011: China a hotbed for innovation, according to architecture dean