Friday, May 14, 2010

Aussie Matt Jones leads Texas Open with a 66

SAN ANTONIO -- Matt Jones eagled the par-5 14th hole and finished with a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead Thursday after the first round of the Valero Texas Open.
PGATOUR.COM: Complete coverage of the Valero Texas Open
Jones, a 30-year-old Australian who played at Arizona State University, also had four birdies in a back-nine 30 on the Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, the tournament's new site after 15 years at La Cantera.
Paul Stankowski opened with a 67, and J.B. Holmes, Matt Weibring, Charley Hoffman and Steve Lowery had 68s.
Ernie Els, a two-time winner this year, had a 72. He was 3 under on the final five holes, making a tap-in eagle on 14 after a 293-yard second shot.
"Obviously, this golf course is a little bit different than we play week in and week out, and I think to some of the players it's a little bit of a shock," Els said. "Back to even par, but I feel like, you know, it could have been a low score out there. The wind dropped for us."
Els' playing partner, Vijay Singh, left several putts just short, but finished with a birdie for a 73. Zach Johnson, the two-time defending champion, made a 7 on the par-3 13th and ended up with an 8-over 80.
Jones rebounded after making a double bogey on the first hole.
"A double wasn't the start we wanted, but the first hole is not an easy starting tee shot there at all," Jones said. "It's very narrow.
"After that, it was just a battle to get back to even par on the front nine, and then I made about a 30-footer for par on 11, which kind of kept me going. And from there on, we had six birdies and an eagle."
Jones hit a 3-wood approach from 276 yards to 8 feet on No. 14.
He birdied three of the four par 3s.
"With these greens, if you miss a tee shot you're working hard to par or birdie," Jones said. "If you miss a second shot, it's tough out of the bunkers and runoffs they have on the greens. These par 3s aren't easy. To have three birdies on par 3s is quite good."
Jones, whose best finish this season is a tie for seventh two weeks ago at Quail Hollow, teed off among the morning groups before the temperature on a humid, windy day climbed into the mid-80s.
Stankowski birdied five of his final 15 holes
"This would rival one of the most solid rounds I've played in years," Stankowski said. "I know in the wind, you have one option -- to go ahead and hit solid shots, and I did that today. This was a good day, and this is really how I would love to draw them every round."
Aberdeen-born Australian Michael Sim, who has been on the injured list for weeks, made a comeback with a four-over-par 76.
Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas
Total prizefund: $6.1million. First prize: $1,098,000.
Par 72
66 Matthew Jones (Aus)
67 Paul Stankowski
68 Charley Hoffman, J.B. Holmes, Steve Lowery, Matt Weibring
69 Joe Durant, Arjun Atwal (Ind), Steve Flesch, Brett Wetterich
70 Michael Letzig, Spencer Levin, Kent Jones, Tom Byrum, Aron Price (Aus), Ted Purdy, Mathias Gronberg (Swe), James Nitties (Aus), James Driscoll, Daniel Chopra (Swe), Jarrod Lyle (Aus), Marc Leishman (Aus), Tim Petrovic, Jimmy Walker
71 Charles Warren, Chris Stroud, Garth Mulroy (Rsa), Adam Scott (Aus), Michael Bradley, Garrett Willis, Cameron Percy (Aus), Steve Wheatcroft, Greg Owen (Eng), Fredrik Jacobson (Swe), Tom Gillis, Rocco Mediate, Cameron Tringale
72 Vaughn Taylor, Bill Lunde, Martin Flores, Billy Mayfair, Mark Hensby (Aus), Tommy Armour III, Chris Tidland, Ernie Els (Rsa), Craig Barlow, Bo Van Pelt, Pat Perez, Omar Uresti, Phil Tataurangi (Nzl), Mark Brooks, Bobby Gates, Lee Janzen, Cliff Kresge, Michael Connell, Steve Elkington (Aus), Chris Wilson, Charlie Wi (Kor), Jeff Maggert, Jeff Burns, Robert Damron, Troy Matteson, Spike McRoy
73 Brian Stuard, Ryan Baca, Tim Herron, Sergio Garcia (Spa), Harrison Frazar, Shaun Micheel, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl), Chez Reavie, Vijay Singh (Fij), John Rollins, Richard S Johnson (Swe), Paul Goydos, Brett Quigley, John Morse, Jay Williamson, Josh Teater, Jason Gore
74 Robert Gamez, Robert Garrigus, Eric Axley, Chris DiMarco, Jeff Gove, Henrik Bjornstad (Nor), Kevin Johnson, Roger Tambellini, John Mallinger, Chad Campbell, Mathew Goggin (Aus), Dicky Pride, Briny Baird, Carl Pettersson (Swe), Troy Merritt
75 Kirk Triplett, Chris Riley, Joe Ogilvie, Gary Woodland, Todd Hamilton, Scott Piercy, David Duval, J.L. Lewis, Michael Clark II, Andrew McLardy (Rsa), Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Ryan Palmer, Robin Freeman, Carlos Franco (Par), Frank Lickliter II
76 Derek Tolan, Marco Dawson, Mike Standly, Matt Bettencourt, Brenden Pappas (Rsa), Tim Thelen, Justin Leonard, Craig Bowden, Nicholas Thompson, Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind), Michael Sim (Sco), Scott McCarron, Vance Veazey, Brian Bateman, Len Mattiace, Guy Boros, Jerod Turner, Rich Barcelo
77 David Lutterus (Rsa), Kris Blanks, Mark Wilson, Jim Carter, John Daly, Bob Estes, Kevin Stadler, Justin Bolli, Cameron Beckman, John Huston
78 J J Henry, Jay Delsing, Gene Williams, Tom Pernice Jnr., Johnson Wagner, Blake Adams
79 Jonathan Kaye, Thomas Kearney, Grant Waite (Nzl), Dean Wilson, Jim McGovern, Glen Day, Skip Kendall
80 Brent Delahoussaye, Zach Johnson, Graham Delaet (Can)
82 John C. Little II
WD: Will MacKenzie 85

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