Date: July 18, 2008

Flanagan four off the pace

US PGA Tour rookie Nick Flanagan is among a trio of Australians four shots off the pace after the opening round of the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee. Flanagan, David Lutterus and Peter Lonard all shot three-under-par rounds of 67 to be four shots off the pace behind Richard Johnson. Johnson&aposs 63 included a hole-in-one on the par-three 14th. The 31-year-old Swede was two-under through his first 10 holes before making three straight birdies from 11 through to 13. Johnson needed only one shot to complete the 14th, a 188-yard hole. Johnson, who has missed three straight cuts and six of his past seven, has not finished better than 37th in a tournament this season. He has a one-shot lead over South African brothers Dean and Brenden Pappas, who both carded a six-under 64. The older of the two, Dean Pappas started strong, birdying three of his first four holes while beginning on the back nine. He finished with seven birdies and a bogey on the par-four fourth. Brenden Pappas started on the front nine, bogeying his opening hole before going on to also collect seven birdies. Neither ever has won on the PGA Tour, but both have finished second at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic. Dean was a runner-up there in 2002, while Brenden matched the feat a year later. Three Americans – Robert Garrigus, Dean Wilson and Patrick Sheehan – are tied for fourth place at five-under, two shots off the pace. “The greens are perfect,” Garrigus said. “And I actually finally read some putts right. Last year, I had no clue where anything was going, and this year, I finally got my eyes dialed into the greens.” A player who was highly criticised for his decision not to enter the British Open field, Kenny Perry is tied with 22 other players for 17th place after shooting a three-under 67 on Thursday. Perry has been one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour of late, winning each of his past two starts and three of five. However, he chose not to make a run at his first career major title at Royal Birkdale, opting to honour his commitment to play this event. There are 10 players at four-under, including defending champion Joe Ogilvie, who double-bogeyed his opening hole but finished the round with two of his seven birdies. First Round Scores from the US Bank Championship, Milwaukee -7: Richard Johnson 63 -6: Deane Pappas 64, Brenden Pappas 64 -5: Robert Garrigus 65, Dean Wilson 65, Patrick Sheehan 65 -4: Cliff Kresge 66, Marco Dawson 66, Steve Marino 66, Kent Jones 66, Steve Flesch 66, Joe Ogilve 66, Frank Lickliter II 66, Jesper Parnevik 66, Jim McGovern 66 Also: -3: David Lutterus (Australia) 67, Peter Lonard (Australia) 67, Nick Flanagan (Australia) 67 -2: Nathan Green (Australia) 68 -1: Gavin Coles (Australia) 69, Brett Rumford (Australia) 69 E: Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 70 +2: Steve Allan (Australia) 72 +3: Andrew Buckle (Australia) 73