Date: October 17, 2008

Flanagan fires in Vegas

Aussie young gun Nick Flanagan shot a superb eight-under par 64 to be in a tie for sixth place after the opening round of the Las Vegas Open. Flanagan shot nine birdies – his only blemish coming on his final hole, the par-five ninth – to be two shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Marc Turnesa. Having won the Valero Open last weekend, Johnson picked up where he left off with a brilliant bogey-free round that included five consecutive birdies over the TPC Summerlin course. However, the 32-year-old had to settle for a share of the lead after Marc Turnesa ended his round with three birdies over his last four holes. Johnson began on the back nine and opened with consecutive birdies before adding two more at the 14th and 16th. He then sank five birdies in a row from the first hole and finished with another at the par-five ninth. Turnesa picked up birdies on five of his first seven holes after also starting out at the 10th. He had previously failed to make the cut in six of his previous eight tournaments but also enjoyed a bogey-free round on Thursday. The duo hold a one-stroke lead over a group of four players, with Flanagan and American duo John Mallinger and Kevin Na a further stroke behind. Matt Jones and Peter Lonard both made impressive starts to be at six-under, while Matthew Goggin (four-under) also had a good round. Mark Hensby and Rod Pampling both shot three-under, but Jason Day (two-under) and Nathan Green (one-under) will have to get a wriggle on if they are to challenge the leaders. David Lutterus and Steve Elkington will struggle to make the cut after both players shot a disappointing three-over par. Las Vegas Open, Round 1 (Par 72) -10: Zach Johnson 62, Marc Turnesa 62 -9: Michael Allen 63, Nick Watney 63, Matt Kuchar 63, Ken Duke 63 -8: Kevin Na 64, John Mallinger 64, Nick Flanagan (Australia) 64, Chez Reavie 64 -7: Charles Warren 65, Robert Garrigus 65, Joe Durant 65, Chad Campbell 65, Will MacKenzie 65, Frank Lickliter II 65, Hunter Mahan 65, Brian Davis 65, Chris Stroud 65 -6: Pat Perez 66, Matt Jones (Australia) 66, Bob Estes 66, Peter Lonard (Australia) 66, Joe Ogilvie 66, Kenneth Ferrie 66, Chad Collins 66, Rich Beem 66, John Riegger 66, Ryan Moore 66 Also: -4: Matthew Goggin (Australia) 68 -3: Mark Hensby (Australia) 69, Rod Pampling (Australia) 69 -2: Jason Day (Australia) 70 -1: Nathan Green (Australia) 71 E: Brett Rumford (Australia) 70, Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 72 +2: Grant Waite (New Zealand) 72 +3: David Lutterus (Australia) 75, Steve Elkington (Australia) 75