Golf: Howell keeps ball rolling

GOLF
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The Independent Online
SWINDON'S David Howell followed up his first professional victory at the Australian PGA Championship in Sydney last week with an opening round of 71, two under par, to lie four strokes behind the leader Stephen Leaney, of Australia, in the ANZ Players Championship in Brisbane.

Leaney shot a six-under-par 67 to lead by a shot from his fellow Australians David McKenzie and Rod Pampling and New Zealand's Michael Long.

In Ibusuki, Tiger Woods made an eventful start to his first tournament in Japan when a wayward drive on the 10th hole hit a spectator in the face, causing a nose bleed. The fan received brief medical treatment on the spot and then followed Woods for the remainder of his round.

Woods finished two strokes behind the leader Naomichi Ozaki, who fired a five-under-par 67 in the opening round of the Casio World Open.

The world No 1 had four birdies and one bogey and shared fifth place with five others on 69. More than 5,000 spectators turned up to see Woods' Japanese debut.

John Daly shot a five-under-par 66 in the opening round of the Hong Kong Open yesterday to lie two strokes behind the leader Hsieh Chin-sheng, of Taiwan.

The American used his power off the tee to shoot an eagle and four birdies in his first appearance in Hong Kong. "I started really well with an eagle at my second hole and it kind of fired me up." said Daly. "It's a great feeling to be five under par and to be playing well again."

Hsieh, a regular on the Japanese Tour who won the Hong Kong Open in 1988, hit a hot putting streak in his 64. He shot seven birdies and parred the rest to finish two ahead of Daly, Hong Kong's Brad Schadewitz and his compatriot Wang Ter-chang. The defending champion Frank Nobilo, of New Zealand, recorded a one-under 70, a shot ahead of Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain.

Scores, Digest, page 31

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