Date: May 16, 2008

O’Hern in touch

Australian Nick O&aposHern is just three shots from the lead after the opening round of the AT&T Classic. In what is an extremely crowded leaderboard, O&aposHern fired a three-under-par round of 69 and is three shots behind five equal leaders in a tie for 20th place. Americans Jonathan Kaye, Ryan Palmer, Jonathan Byrd, Parker McLachlin, Kenny Perry all fired rounds of 66s to share the lead, while experienced compatriots David Toms and Ted Purdy are among four players just one shot behind. On a day when golfers off early in the morning received the pick of the conditions, McLachlin was one player that appreciated getting back into the clubhouse with a share of the lead. “It&aposs always nice to catch a good end of the draw because it doesn&apost always happen that way,” McLachlin told “I&aposve caught the bad end plenty of time when you have played in the morning and you are expecting it to be calm (but) it&aposs really windy. And then right when you finish, the wind just dies down.” West Australian Stephen Leaney (71) is the next best placed Australian, one shot clear of veteran Steve Elkington (72) and two clear of Nick Flanagan. Compatriot Brett Rumford signed for a 73, Steve Allan and Jason Day carded rounds of 76, while veteran Australian Greg Norman (80) had a day to forget. First Round Scores from the AT&T Classic, Duluth, Ga. -6: Jonathan Kaye 66, Ryan Palmer 66, Jonathan Byrd 66, Parker McLachlin 66, Kenny Perry 66 -5: Charles Howell 111 67, David Toms 67, Ted Purdy 67, Bob Sowards 67 -4: Guy Boros 68, Camilio Vilegas 68, Patrick Sheehan 68, Steve Flesch 68, Stewart Cink 68, John Mallinger 68, Jason Gore 68, Bob May 68, Bob Heintz 68, Craig Kanada 68 -3: Tom Scherrer 69, Jeff Gove 69 Also: -3: Nick O Hern (Australia) 69 -2: Stephen Leaney (Australia) 71 -1: Steve Elkington (Australia) 71 E: Nick Flanagan (Australia) 72 1: Brett Rumford (Australia) 73 3: Grant Waite (Australia) 4: Steve Allan (Australia) 76, Jason Day (Australia) 76 8: Greg Norman (Australia) 80