Date: May 01, 2009
Author: PA Sport and Sportal

Woods leads in Charlotte

Tiger Woods finished with a flourish to establish a two-stroke lead over a group of players including Australian Robert Allenby after the first round of the Quail Hollow Championships in Charlotte. The 33-year-old birdied six of his last nine holes on his way to a seven-under-par 65 to establish a first-round lead over Steve Marino, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner and Allenby who are tied for second on five-under. South Africa&aposs Retief Goosen, Jeff Maggert, Hunter Mahan and Lucas Glover sit in a group tied for sixth, a shot further back at four-under. “I hit the ball actually not bad today. I hit a couple loose shots here and there but I putted really well,” said Woods after his first appearance since his sixth-placed finish at The Masters. “I had a couple of key saves, made a nice little up-and-down at two and just a really good save at four that kept the round going. It&aposs always nice when you birdie the last three.” “The pins are I won&apost say the most difficult, but they&aposre definitely testy, and these greens have got some speed to them on some of the pin locations.” “You miss the ball above the hole, it&aposs got some speed to it. Luckily enough I was able to put the ball below the hole most of the day and had uphill putts.” Allenby, who made 33 consecutive cuts before missing the weekend action at the Verizon Heritage, leads the Australian contingent with Nick O&aposHern (three-under) also inside the top 10. Rod Pampling and Nathan Green are a shot further back at two-under, while John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Aron Price, Peter Lonard, Mathew Goggin and Kiwi 18-year-old Danny Lee are all at one-under. Former world No.4 Adam Scott had a disastrous first round, falling to a five-over 77 and a share of 145th place. Defending champion Anthony Kim and 2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera began with opening rounds of two-under-par 70, while Ireland&aposs Padraig Harrington and England&aposs Ross Fisher finished at one-over-par, a shot clear of Justin Rose. Meanwhile, Australian Scott Barr lies in a tie for 12th after the opening round of the Spanish Open. Barr fired a four-under 68 to trail Danish Ryder Cup player Soren Hansen by five shots after he broke the PGA Catalunya course record with a nine-under-par 63 – after starting with a double bogey. An hour after Frenchman Thomas Levet had equalled the old mark of eight-under set by England&aposs Peter Baker nine years ago, Hansen completed one of the most remarkable rounds of his career. It left American John Daly already seven behind on his return to golf after more than four months out – he is still banned by the US Tour and in February underwent lap-band stomach surgery – and Colin Montgomerie nine adrift. Levet is alone in second, one ahead of Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara and also Callum Macaulay, looking more and more like the next big thing in the Scottish game. Aussie Matthew Millar completed a three-under 69 while Michael Curtain, Andrew Tampion and Kane Webber are a stroke further back at two-under. Wade Ormsby is level with the card in a share of 78th place, while Kiwi Gareth Paddison could only manage a three-over 75.