Date: June 13, 2008

Ogilvy, Appleby off to a good start

Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby have both made impressive starts to the US Open at Torrey Pines to be one shot off the lead at the completion of the first round. Ogilvy, the 2006 champion, recovered from two bogeys in his opening three holes, to finish with five birdies and a two-under 69. Appleby also shot a 69 to join Ogilvy and two others one stroke behind leaders Kevin Streelman and Justin Hicks. Robert Allenby remains in the hunt after he shot four consecutive birdies on his way to a one-under 70. Ernie Els started well to be equal with Allenby, while Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh are also in contention after carding even-par rounds of 71. World No.3 Adam Scott (73) is the next best of the 10 Australian players in the field, with Aaron Baddeley and Rod Pampling a further shot back at three-over. Hicks stole the limelight from Tiger Woods in the world No.1&aposs return to competitive golf after a two-month layoff due to knee surgery. Woods had to settle for a one-over-par 72 while playing partner Phil Mickelson finished one shot better. Hicks is playing his second US Open having missed the cut on his only previous appearance in 2004. Woods gave playing partners Mickelson and Scott a two-stroke head-start, and then after making up the deficit, he returned the favour once again. Woods hit his first shot of the tournament into the rough at the first hole, leading to a double-bogey. He spent the next eight holes climbing back up the leaderboard and was one-under-par at the turn. He started the back nine with four consecutive pars before his second double-bogey of the day, this one at the par-four 14th. He then finished his one-over 72 with a three-putt par at the par-five 18th. But despite the disappointing finish to an uneven round, Woods was content with his position. “To make two double-bogeys and a three-putt and be only four back, that&aposs a great position to be in,” Woods said. “Because I know I can clean that up tomorrow.” Kiwi Michael Campbell is unlikely to repeat his 2005 trophy-winning heroics after carding a first round seven-over 78. A double bogey on the par-four second started the rot before he made six more bogeys – also all on par fours – and managed to birdie the 18th to stop the bleeding. US Open first round scores: -3: Justin Hicks 68, Kevin Streelman 68 -2: Stuart Appelby (Australia) 69, Eric Axley 69, Rocco Mediate 69, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 69 -1: Robert Allenby (Australia) 70, Ernie Els 70, Ricki Fowler 70, Robert Karlsson 70, Lee Westwood E: Patrick Sheehan 71, Joe Ogilvie 71, Phil Mickelson 71, Carl Pettersson 71, Andres Romero 71, Vijay Singh 71, Luke Donald 71 Also: +2: Adam Scott (Australia) 73 +3: Rod Pampling (Australia) 74, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 74 +4: Craig Parry (Australia) 75, Jarrod Lyle (Australia) 75 +6: Mathew Goggin (Australia) 77 +7: Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 78