Date: June 27, 2008

Aussies find it tough in France

Just two Australian players were able to crack par on a tricky opening day at the French Open. Peter O&aposMalley and Scott Strange both fired even-par rounds of 71 to sit six strokes off the pace set by Spanish qualifier Pablo Larrazabal at Le Golf National near Paris. Larrazabal, who did not use his driver on the tight layout, leads by one stroke from European pair Oliver Fisher and Peter Lawrie. Lawrie, 19, is chasing his first title on the tour after losing lost a play-off to Thomas Levet for the Andalucia Open in March. Larrazabal is making his debut in the event, but only as a player. He caddied for his older brother Alejandro, British amateur champion in 2002, the following year, as he did in The Masters at Augusta. His knowledge of the course was evident as he opened up a one-shot buffer. Of the remaining Australians in the field, Rick Kulacz (72) and Richard Green (73) put in solid performances. Scott Barr (75) and Daniel Gaunt (75) are locked at four-over the card and two further strokes back are Marcus Fraser and Matthew Millar, who signed for 77s. First Round Scores from the Golf French Open -6: Pablo Larrazabal 65 -5: Oliver Fisher 66, Peter Lawrie 66 -4: Angel Cabrera 67 -3: Andrew Coltart 68, Jamie Donaldson 68, Martin Erlanddson 68, Ignacio Garrido 68, Michael Jonzon 68, Barry Lane 68, Jose Manuel Lara 68, Francesco Molinari 68, Jeev Mikha Singh 68, Graeme Storm 68, Miles Tunncliff 68, Martin Wiegele 68 -2: Phillip Archer 69, Paul Broadhurst 69, Rafa Echenique 69, David Frost 69 Also: Par: Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 71, Scott Strange (Australia) 71, Garteh Paddison (New Zealand) 72 1: Rick Kulacz (Australia) 72 2: Richard Green (Australia) 73 4: Scott Barr (Australia) 75, Daniel Gaunt (Australia) 75 6: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 77, Matthew Millar (Australia) 77, Mark Brown (New Zealand) 77