Date: April 27, 2007

Le Vesconte up with leaders

Australian Adam Le Vesconte is in a tie for fourth place at four-under-par, three shots behind the leader, after the first round of the Beijing Open at Pine Valley. Indian veteran Gaurav Ghei sits atop the leaderboard after firing a seven-under 65, while American John Daly is two strokes back after a 67. Wedged in between them is Thailand&aposs Panuwat Muenlek on six-under. Le Vesconte, who has one Asian Tour title at the 2005 Philippines Open, is level with South African Hendrik Buhrmann and England&aposs Ben St John. On a crowded leaderboard featuring plenty of Australasians, the Australian trio of Brad Kennedy, Scott Strange and Neven Basic, and New Zealander Brad Iles, are tied for seventh place on three-under alongside Welshman Crag Smith, local player Wu Kang-chun, Singapore&aposs Mardan Mamat, Thailand&aposs Chapchai Nirat, Chinese Taipei&aposs Lin Wen-tang, and Americans Edward Michaels and Anthony Kang. Ghei, who ended an 11-year wait by winning the Mercuries Taiwan Masters last year, fired an eagle on the second hole to kickstart his round, and added seven birdies and two bogeys in a solid opening round. “It is good to always think back on your win and if I can keep this up, it would be nice to be among the leaders in the final round. But this is still the early stages and anything can happen,” Ghei said. Daly, a five-time winner on the US PGA Tour, shot six birdies and one bogey in his round to push his claims. “I came here Saturday and have been working hard on my game. You have to be well rested to play golf these days,” he said. “I got lucky. The wind wasn&apost blowing this morning so anytime you can get out there without the wind blowing, it favours you. I hope to take this round and use the confidence heading into tomorrow.” First round scores from the Beijing Open -7: Gaurav Ghei (India) 65 -6: Panuwat Muenlek (Thailand) 66 -5: John Daly (USA) 67 -4: Hendrik Buhrmann (South Africa) 68, Adam Le Vesconte (Australia) 68, Ben St John (England) 68 -3: Edward Michaels (USA) 69, Lin Wen-Tang (Chinese Taipei) 69, Chapchai Nirat (Thailand) 69, Mardan Mamat (Singapore) 69, Scott Strange (Australia) 69, Wu Kang-chun (China) 69, Brad Iles (New Zealand) 69, Neven Basic (Australia) 69, Anthony Kang (USA) 69, Brad Kennedy (Australia) 69, Craig Smith (Wales) 69 -2: Ashley Hall (Australia) 70, Liu Anda (China) 70, Rowan Beste (Australia) 70, Liang Wen-chong (China) 70, Lu Wei-lan (Chinese Taipei) 70, Tony Carolan (Australia) 70, Adam Blyth (Australia) 70, Vivek Bhandari (India) 70, Taichiro Kiyota (Japan) 70, Wang Lei (China) 70, Angelo Que (Philippines) 70, Unho Park (Australia) 70, Young Nam (Korea) 70, Stephen Scahill (New Zealand) 70, Ben Leong (Malaysia) 70, Somkiat Srisanga (Thailand) 70 Also: -1: Richard Lee (New Zealand) 71, Marcus Both (Australia) 71, David Gleeson (Australia) 71, Kane Webber (Australia) 71, Mark Brown (New Zealand) 71 E: Scott Hend (Australia) 72, Mitchell Brown (Australia) 72 +1: Mahal Pearce (New Zealand) 73, Adam Groom (Australia) 73, Leigh McKehnie (Australia) 73, +2: Scott Barr (Australia) 74, Gavin Flint (Australia) 74 +3: Lee Won-joon (Australia) 75 +4: Jarrod Moseley (Australia) 76, Peter Fowler (Australia) 76