Daly's solid start

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The Independent Online
John Daly, trying to get back on course after a five-month absence from the USPGA Tour, shot a four-under-par 67 to finish one stroke behind the leaders, Jodie Mudd and Billy Mayfair, after the first round of the Nissan Open, in Pacific Palisades, California.

Daly opened his round at the 10th hole at the Riviera Country Club, where he drove the green and sank a 15-foot eagle putt. It was a good start for the long-hitting American, who has played in four events this year with only two rounds under 70.

Daly joined another six players one shot off the lead, including the champion, Corey Pavin, and Lanny Wadkins, who has won the event twice. "I'm hitting my two-iron real well, my driver real well and my irons pretty well," Daly said.

Mudd, who also opened his round at the 10th, holed a sand shot for a birdie at the 12th, and sank a 60-foot birdie putt at the 16th. A place at the top of the leaderboard was also a return to seasons past. Mudd was one of the tour's leading players five years ago, but complained of exhaustion and cut his schedule.

However, Mudd believed he could recapture the form which won him two tournaments in 1990. "I think the potential has always been there," he said. "It just got to the point that I'd played golf as a kid, played in college, then was out here on the tour for 10 years."

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