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September 4, 2009

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Home » Sports » Golf

Jimenez, Romero share early lead

MIGUEL Angel Jimenez and Andres Romero took a share of the early lead yesterday in the first round of the European Masters at Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
They both shot a 6-under 65 as they played in the same group.
Jimenez made his seventh birdie of the day with a 20-foot putt at the 17th hole to draw level with Romero. He had one bogey. Romero, who normally plays on the US tour and is making a rare visit to Europe, had six birdies and no bogeys.
"After a long, long time with a round without bogey, I can't believe it," said Romero, who has been working with a psychologist. "He told me, 'Stop thinking too much and play the hole where you are standing.'
Jimenez, a member of Europe's Ryder Cup team last year, is playing at the European Masters for the 21st straight year.
"I have never won it and would love to," said Jimenez, who had 27 putts in the round and made four of them between 15 and 20 feet.
Johan Edfors and Chris Wood were one stroke behind the leaders on the 6,822-yard course, which has been softened by heavy showers over the last two days. Graeme McDowell shot a 68.
"I'm trying to tune up for the next eight events," McDowell said. "I'm taking them pretty seriously. The major season is over."
Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman, starting a comeback from a wrist injury, shot a 74.
China's Zhang Lianwei lamented an error-prone day en route to an opening three-over-par 74.
Given the honor of striking the opening tee shot in the event, which marked the Asian Tour's first co-sanctioned tournament with the European Tour on European soil, the five-time winner mixed two birdies against five bogeys at the spectacular Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
"I didn't have a good start and was two over after three holes. I tried to come back and got it to even par but then made mistakes again on the 15th and 16th holes for two more bogeys," said the 44-year-old Zhang.
A new putter in the bag failed to give him the birdies that he was looking for. He three putted for bogeys at the third and eighth and struggled to get up-and-down for pars.


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