Belek - South African Darren Fichardt is in a three-way
tie for the lead at the rain-affected Turkish Airlines Open after the
first round was completed on Friday.
European money-list leader Henrik Stenson and
Dane Thomas Bjorn joined Fichardt at the top while Tiger Woods was six
shots off the pace.
Swede Stenson took up where he left off when
darkness set in at 6.42pm on Thursday, birdying the par-five 11th on the
resumption after torrential rain and thunderstorms had caused a
three-hour interruption a day earlier.
He then made further inroads on par at the
13th, 17th and 18th to sign for an eight-under 64 under blue skies and a
freshening breeze at the $7 million European Tour event.
Playing partner Woods also birdied the 11th,
lofting a 20-yard wedge over a greenside bunker to four feet and
knocking in his putt for a confidence-boosting birdie.
Woods picked up another stroke at the 13th but
then dunked his second into water at the last and a bogey six there
soured his mood with just 45 minutes to go before he was back on the
first tee for the start of the second round.
U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, playing alongside Woods and Stenson, also went round in 70.
Stenson, who scooped an $11.4 million jackpot
for landing the season-ending U.S. Tour Championship in Atlanta and the
FedExCup playoff series, is looking to make it a trans-Atlantic double
A strong performance here and in the
season-finale in Dubai next week will see him crowned Europe's golfer of
the year for the first time in his career.
“I was in a good position when they called it
off last night and I carried it on today with a couple of nice birdies,”
“The wrist still isn't in great shape,” he said
of an injury that has troubled him in recent weeks, “and it's a case of
taking it one day at a time and one shot at a time.”
Ian Poulter, who opened with a 66 and is
$725,000 adrift of Stenson in fourth spot in the money list, has a $100
bet with the Swede at odds of 10-1 that the Briton can overtake him by
the time the curtain comes down on the season in Dubai.
“I knew Ian was playing alright because he had a
white towel around his arm to show me how I would be looking when I'm
pouring his drinks,” said Stenson with a smile.
Leading scores after the delayed completion of the first round of the
Turkish Open at the Maxx Royal Course (par-72) in Belek on Friday:
64 - Henrik Stenson (SWE), Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Darren Fichardt (RSA)
65 - Steve Webster (ENG)
- George Coetzee (RSA), Paul Casey (ENG), Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG),
Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Ian Poulter (ENG), Kiradeck Aphibarnrat (THA),
Justin Walters (RSA), Maximilian Kieffer (GER)
67 - Rafa
Cabrera-Bello (ESP), Raphael Jacquelin (FRA), Victor Dubuisson (FRA),
Peter Uhlein (USA) Alejandro Canizares (ESP), Marcus Fraser (AUS),
Robert-Jan Derksen (NED), Julien Quesne (FRA)
68 - Padraig Harrington (IRL), Charl Schwartzel (RSA)
70 - Tiger Woods (USA), Justin Rose (ENG), Lee Westwood (ENG)
72 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)