Date: May 25, 2007

Green, Lonard in touch

Australians Nathan Green and Peter Lonard are within two strokes of the lead midway through a rain interrupted opening round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Anthony Kim fired a round of 63 to hold the clubhouse lead at seven-under-par, one clear of Americans Ted Purdy and Jeff Maggert, while Green and Lonard are a shot further back and well in contention. Already with four top-10 finishes in 13 events but still seeking the first win of his rookie season, Kim used a blistering finish to vault to the top of the leaderboard. After a bogey at the 12th hole left him at one-under, Kim closed with six straight birdies to card a seven-under 63. Defending champion Tim Herron, who broke a long victory drought last year at Colonial Country Club, is four strokes back following a 67. Herron beat Richard Johnson in a two-hole play-off last year for his first title since the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational. In 26 tournaments since winning here last season, Herron has not posted a top-10 finish. His best result this season came at the season-opening Mercedes Championship where he tied for 19th. Jim Furyk is the highest-ranked player in the field at number three in the world. The former US Open champion was one under after five holes before bad weather forced play to be suspended. Australian John Senden carded a round of 68 to finish at two-under-par tied with compatriots Steve Elkington and Mark Hensby who are yet to complete their rounds. Fellow Australian Rod Pampling is a stroke further adrift at one-under-par through four holes, while Nick O&aposHern and Mathew Goggin fired rounds of 70 to be in a tie for 61st place at even-par. Stephen Leaney and Andrew Buckle are also at even-par, still with the majority of their round to complete. Results from round one of the Crowne Plaza Invitational: Play has been suspended due to bad weather -7: Anthony Kim 63 -6: Ted Purdy 64, Jeff Maggert 64 -5: Nathan Green (Australia) 65, Jeff Quinney 65, Peter Lonard (Australia) 65, Frank Lickliter II (8 holes) -4: Kevin Na (8 holes) -3: Tim Herron 67, Steve Stricker 67, Chris Couch 67, Lucas Glover 67, K.J. Choi 67, Joe Durant 67, Mark Brooks 67, D.J. Trahan 67, Doug LaBelle II 67, Ryan Armour 67, Tom Lehman (6 holes), Brett Wetterich (4 holes) Also: -2: John Senden (Australia) 68, Mark Hensby (Australia) (9 holes), Steve Elkington (Australia) (5 holes) -1: Rod Pampling (Australia) (4 holes) E: Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 70, Mathew Goggin (Australia) 70, Stephen Leaney (Australia) (3 holes), Andrew Buckle (Australia) (1 hole)