Thursday, November 10, 2011


Tiger Woods played his first bogey-free round in nine months on the opening day of the Australian Open where he trails leader Jarrod Lyle by three shots.
Cancer survivor Lyle held off a powerful American contingent, including Woods , to card a seven-under 65 in an unblemished round that included an eagle 3 at the 14th and five birdies.
Lyle, who must go through qualifying school next month to avoid playing in the secondary Nationwide Tour next season after losing his US PGA Tour card with a 161st finish on the money list, was pursued by Americans, Dustin Johnson and Nick Watney, a shot back on 66.
Woods, who has not won a tournament for two years precipitating a slump in his world ranking from 1 to 58, wrestled with gusty afternoon winds to keep in touch, three shots off the lead.
His 68, which included four birdies, was his first bogey-free round in nine months.
"I hit it really good today, that was exactly how I have been hitting it at home, so that's good and I've taken it to the golf course in these conditions and hit all the shots," Woods said.
"I just grinded, I was very patient all day and just took advantage when I could.
"With these conditions it's easy to make a couple of bogeys in a row and get it going the wrong way and I just had to be patient, there wasn't going to be a lot of guys in the afternoon hitting 60s."
World No 5 Dustin Johnson, at the Australian Open ahead of next week's Presidents Cup as the top-ranked American player, hit eight birdies in his six-under round.
"I made a lot of good putts, some tap-ins and some three-four footers, and I played really solid all day and made some great iron shots," said Johnson, who reeled off five consecutive birdies from the 12th hole.
"I was a little rusty at the start, it was the first time I've been in competition for five-six weeks now, but then got it going pretty well."
Watney carded five birdies in his closing six holes in the afternoon to finish with an impressive six-under.
Lyle, 30, who finished only once in the top 10 on this year's US PGA Tour, carded an unblemished round that included an eagle three at the 14th and five birdies.
"That's the lowest score I've shot all year, I've played solid all year, but just haven't achieved anything," Lyle said.
Former US Masters champion Fred Couples, who will be the non-playing captain of the US team at next week's Presidents Cup teams event against the Internationals at Royal Melbourne, was among a quartet on five-under 67, two shots off the lead.
Couples, 52, who has 53 tournament victories in his 30 years as a professional, carded six birdies and a bogey playing with his US team assistant John Cook, who had a 69.
World No 17 Bubba Watson, another member of next week's US team, chimed in with a four-under 68 with an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys.
Australian Adam Scott, who said he didn't make a putt in his three-under 69, hit a spectacular albatross 2 at the par-five eighth when he holed a six-iron from 199 metres.
It was only his second career albatross or three-under-par-shot since his junior days.
Compatriot and world No 7 Jason Day had five birdies and two bogeys playing with Woods to be equal 16th with Scott at three-under.



John Daly walked off the course and out of the tournament after hitting at least five or six balls - officials aren't sure of the number - into the water on the 11th hole at The Lakes.Daly was seven over par after 10 holes in the first round after becoming upset with a ruling on the 10th that penalised him two strokes. He casually putted out on the 10th and took a triple-bogey 7.
On the 11th, he hit ball after ball into the water, some landing in the centre of the pond, before a tour official joined him. Moments later, Daly shook hands with playing partners Craig Parry of Australia and American Hunter Mahan and walked off the course.
In a Twitter message, Daly said: "when u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player's partners hands and signed my card w/rules official."
Trevor Herden, Golf Australia's director of tournaments, called Daly's actions "unprofessional" and said action needed to be taken against him. And Herden said running out of balls was no excuse for walking off the course.
"If you run out of golf balls, and you are acting in a professional manner, you will call a rules official and we will get the type of ball he is playing with and replenish his stock," Herden said. "We can do that. For him to treat it as 'that's it' and 'see you later,' that's not good enough."
Herden said Daly appeared to become upset after hitting the wrong ball out of a bunker on 10 - apparently there were two there, one from the nearby practice range.
"I believe he has gone down 11, hitting five or six balls in the water - I am not exactly sure," Herden said. "Anyway, he walks right off the golf course, with his son behind him, got in the courtesy car and went straight back to his hotel."
Herden said he was "bitter and disappointed" by Daly's actions.
"It is very disappointing for the tournament ... that he has treated the championship this way," Herden said. "It is a bit of a habit, but it is unacceptable and I certainly hope all the tours deal with it in an appropriate manner this time."
Asked why the Australian Open would have paid him appearance money to be here, Herden replied: "I am not going to talk about appearance money, but he likes to come back this time of year to Australia.
"He is a major winner, we have to pay him some respect, too, even though his times have moved on slightly. But I would say this will be the last time we will see John Daly (in the Australian Open)."
The PGA Tour of Australasia later issued a statement saying no appearance fees had been paid to Daly. It also said Daly's actions Thursday would be referred to a disciplinary committee.
Daly, now ranked 666th in the world, was scheduled to play at the Australian PGA Championship at the Hyatt Regency course at Coolum in two weeks.
"I think you might find that might change," Herden said, and the statement later said that the tour had withdrawn its offer for Daly to play at Coolum.
"The Australian PGA does not need this kind of behaviour tarnishing the achievements of other players and the reputation of our tournaments," the statement said. "John is not welcome at Coolum."
In 2002, after taking a triple-bogey 7 on his last hole at the Coolum course, Daly threw his putter and ball into a greenside pond and later failed to sign for a 78 on his scorecard, disqualifying himself from the tournament. He was later fined $5,600 by the Australasian tour and was ordered to write a letter of apology to a tour official he verbally abused. Two years ago at the Australian Open, he smashed a spectator's camera into a tree at Royal Sydney's ninth hole. He was given a suspended fine by Golf Australia.
In 1998 in the US PGA Tour's Bay Hill Invitational, Daly hit a shot with a three-wood into the water six times in the final round, took an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole and shot an 85.
In the 2000 U.S. Open, he had a 14 on the par-5 18th hole and withdrew after an opening-round 83. Daly dumped three balls into the Pacific Ocean and hit another into a backyard adjacent to the fairway.

Par 72
Players from Australia unless stated
65: Jarrod Lyle.
66: Nick Watney (US), Dustin Johnson (US).
67: Greg Chalmers, Steven Jones, James Nitties, Fred Couples (US).
68: Tiger Woods (US), Jake Higginbottom, Matthew Millar, Woo-hyun Kim (SKor), Bubba Watson (US), Andrew Tschudin.
69: Adam Scott, Nick O'Hern, Stephen Allan, Matthew Jones, Jason Day, Rohan Blizard, Damon Welsford, David Mckendrick (US), John Cook (US), Craig Hasthorpe, Leigh Mckechnie, Paul Sheehan.
70: Rodney Pampling, Chris Gaunt, Kurt Carlson, John Senden, Anthony Summers, Ryan Haller, Craig Hancock, Geoff Ogilvy, Ronald Harvey (Can), Jason Norris, Henry Epstein, Craig Parry, Anthony Brown, Ashley Hall, Jamie Arnold, Peter O'Malley.
71: Andrew Martin, Michael Hendry (NZ), Kelly Kraft (US), Michael Wright, Terry Price, Wittawat Sae-ung (Tha), Greg Norman (US), Matthew Griffin, Luke Hickmott, Steve Collins, Scott Arnold, Geoff Drakeford, Terry Pilkadaris, Gareth Paddison (NZ), Daniel Nisbet, David Bransdon.
72: David Toms (US), Peter Cooke, Bryden Macpherson, Doug Holloway (NZ), Josh Carmichael, Wisut Artjanawat (Tha), Bill Haas (US), Steven Conran, Scott Laycock, Phil Tataurangi (NZ), Kyle Stanley (US), Tim Wood, Nick Cullen, Peter Senior, Cameron Smith, Gary Simpson, Alistair Presnell, Richard Green, Bronson La'cassie.
73: Paul Spargo, Marcus Cain, Rodger Davis, Stephen Leaney, Brent McCullough, Adam Crawford, Aaron Baddeley, Hunter Mahan (US), David McKenzie, Leigh Deagan, Peter Shaw, Joon woo Choi (SKor).
74: Ryan Mccarthy, Mahal Pearce (NZ), Daniel Fox, Won Joon Lee, Adam Bland, Kim Felton, Brad Kennedy, David Klein, James McClean (US), Aaron Townsend, Steve Alker (NZ), Mitchell Brown, Peter Nolan, Luke Bleumink, Matt Kuchar (US), Chang-won Han (Kor), Brendan Smith, Matt Jager, Matthew Stieger.
75: Shih-Chang Chan (Tpe), Steven Bowditch, Robert Allenby, Mathew Goggin, Brad McIntosh, Marc Leishman, Ewan Porter, Heath Reed.
76: Dean Meagher, Ren Han (Chn), Daniel Beckmann, Brad Shilton (NZ), Brad Smith (Eng), Andre Stolz, Adam Stephens, Tai Fu (Chn), Stuart Appleby.
77: Rory Bourke, Michael Campbell (NZ), Jordan Sherratt, Neven Basic, Josh Younger, Tony McNaughton, Ben Wharton, Michael Long (NZ), Troy Cox.
78: Tungshu Hsieh (Tpe), Craig Scott, Steven Jeffress, Darren Tan, Peter Wilson.
79: Andrew Kelly, Michael Curtain, Kurt Barnes.
80: Alex Katholos, Aaron Cox, Quan Yang (Chn), Andrew Evans, Qisheng Liu (Chn).
81: Tristan Lambert, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha), Zhi Xie (Chn), Sam Brazel, Byron Meth.
83: Andrew McKenzie.
84: Lejun Deng (Chn), Nicholas Piani.
85: Ning Bo (Chn).
Retired: John Daly (US).





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