Date: September 26, 2008

Aussie duo off the pace

American Anthony Kim continued his sizzling form from the Ryder Cup to charge to a commanding four-stroke lead after the opening round at the Tour Championship. Kim recovered from a bogey at the first hole, picking up eight birdies to shoot a spectacular six-under-par 64 in demanding, breezy conditions at East Lake. Fellow American Phil Mickelson and South Africans Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman were a distant equal second with two-under 68s, with Korean KJ Choi, on 69, the only other player to break par. Veteran duo Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby form the Australian representation. Appleby turned in a two-over-par 72 to sit in a share of 12th place, three strokes to the better of his compatriot. Allenby&aposs 75 leaves him 11 shots from the lead and ahead of only four players in the 30-man field. Kim, who posted his maiden PGA Tour victory in Charlotte in May, is coming off a spectacular Ryder Cup, where he recorded two wins, one loss and one half. His performance in his singles match on Sunday was simply magnificent, as he gave Sergio Garcia a 5&4 hiding in the opening match to set the tone as the Americans charged to victory. Mickelson, meanwhile, charged to four-under-par at the turn, only to bogey the next two holes. He fought back with two birdies, only to fritter away two more shots over the final three holes. “It was playing very tough today and I&aposll take anything under par,” Mickelson said. “I made a few bogeys on the back but I&aposm pleased with two under.” Els bogeyed the last, but after making four birdies on the back nine, could hardly complain. “I&aposm pretty happy with it,” he said. “A little windy out there, the greens are firm and the 18th hole is never the easiest to finish on.” “I played pretty well, kept the ball in play most of the day and didn&apost do anything stupid, and I putted quite nicely for a change.” The Tour Championship, Atlanta Round 1 Results (Par 70) -6: Anthony Kim 64, -2: Ernie Els 68, Trevor Immelman 68, Phil Mickelson 68 -1: K.J. Choi 69 E: Mike Weir 70, Sergio Garcia 70 +1: Bubba Watson 71, D.J. Trahan 71, Kevin Sutherland 71, Ben Curtis 71 +2: Chad Campbell 72, Billy Mayfair 72, Stuart Appleby (Australia) 72, Jim Furyk 72, Camilo Villegas 72 +3: Andres Romero 73, Dudley Hart 73, Justin Leonard 73, Vijay Singh 73 Also: +5: Robert Allenby (Australia) 75