The story appears on

Page A13

November 13, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Golf

Woods cheers Australian fans

TIGER Woods gave Australian golf fans a taste of what they have been missing over the last decade by shooting a 6 under-par 66 for a share of the first round lead at the Australian Masters in Melbourne yesterday.

Woods, playing in Australia for the first time in 11 years, thrilled galleries packed six-deep on each hole, notching seven birdies for a one-stroke lead with South Africa's Branden Grace and Australian James Nitties.

"I felt pretty good today, I hit the ball pretty decent. I didn't get my irons that close but took advantage of the par fives," the world No. 1 told reporters at the A$1.5 million (US$1.4 million) tournament.

"I bogeyed the last hole and missed two shots for birdie but other than that it was a pretty good day."

Taking advantage of benign morning conditions, the 14-time major champion attacked Kingston Heath's greens and had little trouble reaching on the course's longer holes. He picked up four birdies in five holes coming in to the clubhouse.

"One, the wind wasn't really blowing. Two, the greens were soft. So we can be pretty aggressive and hit it into the greens," said Woods, whose only lapse was a bogey on his last hole to surrender the outright lead.

Chasing his first Australian title on his fourth visit Down Under, Woods will face a tougher task today with an afternoon tee-off likely to bring gusting winds and soaring temperatures at one of Australia's most treacherous courses.

Grace is playing to keep his European Tour card and the 21-year-old threatened to upstage Woods by sinking six birdies in eight holes in a scintillating mid-round burst.

One-stroke lead

However, he was left to rue a bogey on the 17th after edging into a one-stroke lead over Woods.

"I was seven under with two to go and had a bogey on 17, which in the end was just really stupid ... but you know I'm really happy. I am up there and hopefully can keep playing that way for the next three rounds," the South African Grace said.

After a patient run of four pars, Australian Nitties sparked his round to life with an eagle on the par five 14th, his fifth hole, and adding four birdies on his way to a bogey-free round. The 27-year-old, who broke into the US Tour this year, joined Woods and Grace a stroke above Australians Cameron Percy and Doug Holloway, who shot matching 67s.

Adam Scott, battling to return to the top 10 after a horror year on the US PGA Tour, is five strokes off the pace after shooting a one-under 71.

Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy is a further stroke behind after a double bogey on his last hole, the par-four ninth, dropped him to an even par 72.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend