Golf

Watson, Jones share lead

2011-04-29 07:12
Matt Jones (AP)

Louisiana - Australia's Matt Jones chipped in from 57 feet on his final hole for a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead with Bubba Watson on Thursday in the Zurich Classic.

Watson, the winner at Torrey Pines in late January, two-putted from 32 feet for eagle on the par-5 11th and had six birdies and two bogeys at TPC Louisiana.

Jones had eight birdies and two bogeys. Playing the back nine first, he reeled off four consecutive birdies beginning at the par-4 16th. He followed with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th, an 11-footer on the 18th and a 20-foot putt on the first.

Watson and Jones played in the afternoon in better scoring conditions after a strong north wind made morning play more difficult.

Joe Durant, Tommy Gainey, Carl Pettersson, John Rollins, Nick O'Hern and David Duval opened with 67s. Durant played in the morning.

Luke Donald, who lost in a playoff last week at Hilton Head in a bid to jump from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world, shot a 68 to match Matt Bettencourt, Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, Charles Howell and 2002 winner K.J. Choi. Hilton Head winner Brandt Snedeker opened with a 77. He had a triple bogey on the par-3 ninth when he hit his tee shot in the water.

Rickie Fowler and Steve Stricker shot 70s, US Open champion Graeme McDowell had a 73, and Vijay Singh opened with a 74. Singh, critical of the Pete Dye-designed layout, had a double bogey on the 18th hole.

John Daly struggled to a 9-over 81. Daly was 2 over through 14 holes, then played his last four in 7 over. He had a triple bogey on the par-4 16th after hitting two shots into the water.

Scores on Thursday after the first round of the $6.4 million US PGA Zurich Classic (USA unless noted, par 72):

66 - Bubba Watson, Matt Jones (AUS)

67 - Joe Durant, Tommy Gainey, Carl Pettersson (SWE), John Rollins, Nick O'Hern (AUS), David Duval

68 - Matt Bettencourt, Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, Luke Donald (ENG), K.J. Choi (KOR), Charles Howell

69 - Charley Hoffman, Billy Mayfair, Ben Crane, Joseph Bramlett, Josh Teater, Hunter Haas

...

70 - Charlie Wi (KOR), John Senden (AUS), Alexandre Rocha (BRA)

71 - Camilo Villegas (COL), Fabian Gomez (ARG), Brian Davis (ENG), David Hearn (CAN)

72 - Greg Chalmers (AUS), Andres Romero (ARG), Robert Allenby (AUS), Brendon de Jonge (ZIM), Aron Price (AUS), Richard S. Johnson (SWE), Peter Hanson (SWE), Steve Elkington (AUS)

73 - Stephen Ames (CAN), Steven Bowditch (AUS), Graeme McDowell (NIR)

74 - Michael Sim (AUS), Vijay Singh (FIJ), Rory Sabbatini (RSA), Rod Pampling (AUS), Sunghoon Kang (KOR), Jarrod Lyle (AUS)

75 - Ryuji Imada (JPN)

76 - Bi-o Kim (KOR)

77 - Nathan Green (AUS), Justin Rose (ENG), Chris Baryla (CAN)

78 - Matt McQuillan (CAN)

79 - Cameron Percy (AUS)

WD - Alex Cejka (GER) 74

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