Date: April 13, 2007

Leaney poised to strike

Stephen Leaney is the best-placed Australian after the first round of the Verizon Heritage, firing a five-under round of 66. The Aussie is in a share of third place going into day two and sits just three shots behind leader American Jerry Kelly after a round which included seven birdies and two bogeys. Leaney went to the turn at three-under and came out firing on the back nine with birdies on 10 and 12 with the only blemish coming in the form of a bogey on 17. Nick O&aposHern is also in the mix after a two-under round of 69. Kelly leads the field after firing a scintillating eight-under 63 which included 10 birdies and just two bogeys. Kelly made it five birdies and a bogey for both the front and the back nine and in doing so opened up a two-shot lead on South African Ernie Els. Els started his round in fine form with a birdie on the opening hole and an eagle on the par five second. He made four birdies and a bogey from the remaining holes to be well-placed ahead of Saturday&aposs second round. Other Aussies still in the hunt include Rod Pampling, who is in a share of sixth after a solid 69, while Geoff Ogilvy, Peter Lonard and Aaron Baddeley are a shot further back after an even-par round. Results from the first round of the Verizon Heritage -8 Jerry Kelly 63 -6 Ernie Els 65 -5 Jose Coceres, Stephen Leaney (Australia) 66 -4 Fred Funk, Stewart Cink, Kevin Na, Boo Weekley, J.P. Hayes 67 -2 Nick O&aposHern (Australia), Dean Wilson, Sean O&aposHair, Rod Pampling (Australia), Justin Leonard, Tim Herron, 69 Also: -1 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia), Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Peter Lonard (Australia) 70 E Steve Elkington (Australia), Nathan Green (Australia), Mark Hensby (Australia) 71 +2Gavin Coles (Australia), John Senden (Australia) 72 +5Matthew Goggin (Australia) 75