Date: January 25, 2008

Matteson two ahead of Appleby

Troy Matteson shot a seven-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Buick Invitational on Thursday and a two-shot buffer over Stuart Appleby. Matteson was one stroke in front of Brad Adamonis, who shot a 66 on the North Course, and two ahead of Tiger Woods, who joined Appleby as one of four golfers at five-under 67. Playing the tougher South Course, the venue for the 2008 US Open, Matteson carded eight birdies and one bogey. The only other score in the top 12 from the South Course was by Woods, the three-time defending champion. Woods had birdies at the fourth and eighth to turn in 34, then picked up further strokes at the 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th. He was tied for top spot at that point, but came up short of the green on the short 16th and failed to get up and down. Woods was pleased to post a good score despite struggling with his driver. “I was pretty awful off the tee,” said the world number one. “Somehow I was able to post a good number.” Woods only hit seven of 14 fairways and struggled off the tee no matter what club he used. “I didn&apost drive it very good at all,” Woods said. “Whether it was five wood, three wood, or driver, it didn&apost seem to matter.” “I&aposve been driving it well and just had one of those days. (Coach) Hank (Haney) is here, he probably saw a few things and I&aposll go do some work. Hopefully I&aposll get organised by (Friday).” South Africa&aposs Rory Sabbatini and Kevin Streelman were tied with Woods and Appleby on 67. Appleby rattled off an impressive seven birdies in the first round but they were tempered by consecutive bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes. Six golfers, including Nathan Green, Charles Howell III and Stewart Cink, were three shots behind Matteson. This is the first tournament of the year for Woods and world number two Phil Mickelson. Left-hander Mickelson shot a two-under 70 on the North Course and was five shots behind Matteson. Green&aposs four-under par first round of 68 was highlighted by six birdies, although he conceded two bogeys. New Zealander Tim Wilkinson faired much better than many of his trans-Tasman opponents with a three-under round of 69. John Senden, Rod Pampling, Robert Allenby and Nick O&aposHern are all a shot behind Wilkinson after carding rounds of 70. A trio consisting of Steve Elkington, Stephen Leaney and Aaron Baddeley is six shots off the pace on one-under par. Australians who finished even after day one were Matt Jones and Jason Day and they are followed by Geoff Ogilvy (two-over), Nick Flanagan (two-over), Peter Lonard (four-over), Brett Rumford (four-over) and Mark Hensby (seven-over).