Date: June 15, 2007

Ogilvy leads Australian charge

Australian Geoff Ogilvy has begun his defence of his US Open title with a solid opening round of 71 to be just three shots behind leader Nick Dougherty. Ogilvy fired a one-over round and is part of a big group of players tied for fifth. Ogilvy battled tough conditions during his up-and-down round, which included four birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-three eighth. A red-hot short game fired Dougherty to the top of the leaderboard at the end of day one. Dougherty carded a late birdie to set the clubhouse target on two-under-par after a superb 68. Playing in his third US Open, Dougherty overcame early trouble on the front nine with a solid finish. Consecutive bogeys on the front nine dropped Dougherty to one-over and he stayed there until a birdie on the 11th, where he fired a nine-iron to 15 feet. A seven-iron to 13 feet on the 13th for another birdie got him under par and a wedge to six feet on 17 resulted in the final birdie of his round. “I&aposm delighted with a 68,” Dougherty said. “I didn&apost play all that well from tee to green but my short game was red-hot as it has been lately and I putted solidly.” Playing conditions were tough, par for the course at a US Open, but Dougherty believes the early starters caught a break on Wednesday night when nearly half an inch of rain was dumped on the course. Argentina&aposs Angel Cabrera was the only other player to have posted a score under par. Cabrera was as low as three-under after five holes, but ultimately signed for a 69. American Bubba Watson and Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain are equal third after were rounds of even-par 70. Australians Aaron Baddeley and Marcus Fraser are both a shot behind Ogilvy on two-over, while Andrew Buckle is a further stroke back on three-over after a 73. Stuart Appleby and Nathan Green are still in touch with the leaders at four-over, but Robert Allenby and Adam Scott both struggled, carding rounds of 75 and 76 respectively. Olazabal played with fellow Spaniards Pablo Martin and Sergio Garcia. Martin managed a 71 while Garcia crashed to a 79. Garcia started his round with consecutive pars and that was the highlight of his day. Former Open champion Ben Curtis and Tiger Woods each signed for a 71. In search of his third US Open title, Woods dropped three shots in five holes from the eighth and was two-over with four to play. He closed with an eight-footer for par at 16, a birdie at 17 and then another solid par on the last after finding the right rough with his drive. Colin Montgomerie, who had the title within his grasp before a closing-hole disaster at Winged Foot a year ago, started his round with a birdie at the 10th, his opening hole. He stumbled with a double bogey at the par-five 12th and then things fell apart around the turn. Montgomerie bogeyed 17 and 18 to close his front nine and things got no better coming in as he started the back nine with a bogey at the first. A birdie on the third and four consecutive pars had Montgomerie four over with two holes to play but he bogeyed the final two holes of his round for a 76. American David Toms had the outright lead at three under early on but bogeyed the fourth, fifth and sixth and eventually signed for a 72. Results from round one of the US Open, Pennsylvania: -2: Nick Dougherty 68 -1: Angel Cabrera 69 E: Jose Maria Olazabal 70, Bubba Watson 70, +1: Olin Browne 71, Ben Curtis 71, Jason Dufner 71, Niclas Fasth 71, Fred Funk 71, Jim Furyk 71, Lucas Glover 71, Anders Hansen 71, Peter Hanson 71, J.J. Henry 71, Pablo Martin 71, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 71, Justin Rose 71, Vijay Singh 71, Brandt Snedeker 71, Tiger Woods 71 Also: +2: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 72, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 70 +3: Andrew Buckle (Australia) 73, Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 73 +4: Stuart Appleby (Australia) 74, Nathan Green (Australia) 74 +5: Robert Allenby (Australia) 75 +6: Adam Scott (Australia) 76