Date: March 13, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Pampling one off the pace

Australian Rod Pampling is one shot off the lead after an impressive opening round at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral. The Australian masters champion mixed seven birdies with one bogey to card a six-under-par 66, which has him equal with Nick Watney, James Kingston and Open and US PGA champion Padraig Harrington. They trail clubhouse leaders Jeev Milka Singh of India, Thailand&aposs Prayad Marksaeng, South African Retief Goosen and American Phil Mickelson, who each carded 65s on the par-72, 7,266-yard Blue Monster course. “I&aposm very happy,” Harrington said. “Obviously I have not had a great run of form so far this year so it&aposs nice to shoot a good score.” “I was probably a little more focused on my scoring this week than necessarily anything else so it&aposs nice to get out and shoot a decent number.” “I certainly didn&apost hit the driver very well today but, again, my head seemed to be in the right place and I hit my irons well, short game was good.” “So all of those things added up to a 66.” World No.1 Tiger Woods continued his comeback from knee surgery but was not firing on all cylinders in a solid if unspectacular opening round. Woods, playing in his first stroke-play event in nine months, carded a two-bogey, three-birdie round of 71 but was happy with his play if not a little perplexed. “It was a little bit frustrating on those greens today,” Woods said. “I hit so many putts that looked good.” “I thought I hit my lines and thought I had the right speed but they just didn&apost go in.” “I have to be a little bit sharper tomorrow, hopefully those putts go in and the score will be a little different.” Robert Allenby made a good start with a 69 in his opening round to leave him in a tie for 17th, while Stuart Appleby and Adam Scott are equal with Woods in a tie for 40th. Geoff Ogilvy had a disappointing round of 73, while Aaron Baddeley is also well down the leaderboard after a three-over 75. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Australian Jason Day has a share of the lead after the opening round of the US Tour&aposs Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande. Day, with two top 10 finishes on the circuit already, birdied four of the first five holes, picked up more strokes on the 12th and 13th and came straight back with another after bogeying the difficult 459-yard 14th. Compatriot Greg Chalmers is in a tie for eighth place after a carding a four-under-par 68, while Steve Allan, Aron Price and Matt Jones all started brightly with 70s in their opening round. Sharing the lead with Day is 28-year-old qualifier Derek Lamely who is not even in the world&aposs top 1,000. He grabbed one of only four spots on offer at Monday&aposs qualifying event and after bogeying two of his first four holes on the Trump International course notched eight birdies. “This is what I&aposve wanted to do since I can&apost tell you when. This is what I&aposve been trying to do for forever,” Lamely said. One stroke behind are Kevin Stadler, son of former Masters champion Craig, Cliff Kresge, Michael Bradley, Bart Bryant and Bryce Molder. German Alex Cejka is part of the group one further back, while 18-year-old Tadd Fujikawa returned a 70 and England&aposs Greg Owen a 71. Colombian Manuel Villegas, younger brother of world No.10 Camilo, scored 72 on his PGA Tour debut.