Date: October 26, 2007

Ginn sur Mer suits Estes and Armour

Bob Estes and Tommy Armour III have raced into the lead at the Ginn sur Mer Classic in Florida, while Paul Gow is the best of the Australasian contingent, six shots astray of the leaders. Despite some soggy conditions and the day&aposs play being suspended at 6:39 pm for poor light, Estes and Armour III both managed to post nine-under 64s to lead the tournament by three strokes over Daniel Chopra and Craig Kanada, who are tied for third at six-under. Estes, one of the real characters on the PGA Tour, spent almost a fortnight searching for an ideal putter. His efforts proved fruitful though, as he carded nine birdies in a flawless round that included six consecutive birdies from the tee and a forty-foot putt for birdie on the par four ninth. Armour III was also particularly impressive, posting 10 birdies and a bogey in his 64. Gow, meanwhile was the best performed Australasian on the opening day. Currently at 185 on the PGA Tour money list for 2007, Gow effectively needs a top 10 performance in this tournament in order to potentially qualify for the top 150 and avoid being dropped to the Nationwide Tour for 2008. To do that, Gow has started this tournament solidly, carding four birdies and a bogey in his three-under 70, to be even with Michael Sim (three-under after 16 holes) and two-strokes clear of compatriot Andrew Buckle and New Zealander Grant Waite. Waite, appeared to be struggling during the early parts of his round, but he posted an impressive eagle on 16, recording a one-under 72 for the day. However at 221 on the money list, Waite has no chance to avoid the drop. Buckle, meanwhile, is currently on 147 on the money list and struggling to keep his place in the top 150. He started this round well, though, carding four birdies on his front nine, but a double bogey and two bogeys on his return saw him drop down the leaderboard. Placing pressure on Buckle, will be Aussies Gavin Coles (142) and Jarrod Lyle (161) who saw their rounds both interrupted by the poor light. Coles, though, was on an even-par score after 16, while Lyle was even after 14 holes. Both those players are still two strokes ahead of Robert Allenby who endured a front nine he would rather forget at the Florida venue. Allenby started his round by double bogeying the second hole before following that up with two further bogeys before lunch. However, the Australian carded two birdies late on his back nine to finish the day at two-under. At 26th on the overall money list, he, at least, has no concerns regarding his tour position for 2008.