Golf: Lawrie beats blisters to shine with a 65

SCOTLAND'S PAUL LAWRIE displayed the form that won him The Open at Carnoustie in July when he fired six birdies and an eagle to take a one-shot lead into the second round of the Million Dollar Challenge here yesterday.

Lawrie shot a 65, despite bogeying the par-four third, to lead Colin Montgomerie. Lawrie made up for his bogey with an eagle on the ninth, a hole that all the players except Miguel Angel Jiminez beat par. Lawrie's eagle brought him a watch as a prize, and when told it was the same as Ernie Els wears, his response was: "As long as I can win two majors like him, I'll be happy."

Lawrie was not perturbed by critics who suggest his win at The Open was a fluke. "As long as I play the way I know I can play, I can win tournaments. Then people can say what they want about me."

Plagued by a painful right ankle, Lawrie has been able to cope with that, even though he limps noticeably as he walks. However, the limp is brought on by blisters caused by an ankle brace he is wearing. At one stage Lawrie had to receive on course treatment from the tournament physiotherapist.

"The ankle itself is fine, but the blisters are a problem. That's when I asked if the physiotherapist could come and patch me up," Lawrie said.

Montgomerie, who shot a 66, got off to a flying start when he birdied the first three holes at the Gary Player Country Club course.

A dropped shot on the par-three 12th spoiled a fine day for Montgomerie after a tight battle with his playing partner, Ernie Els, the South African favourite who is a shot behind on five-under par.

"Seven birdies, one dropped shot, 66 is good. When I won this event I started with a 65," Montgomerie said. "I'm a great believer in the fact that, with a limited field and no cut, you can only lose it today, you can't win it. But the scoring conditions were good today, the greens weren't that fast."

The slow greens played havoc with the teenager Sergio Garcia, playing in his first Million Dollar event. The Spaniard is six shots off the pace on one-under par.

"I hit the ball pretty well and hit some putts, but it just doesn't want to go in," said the 19-year-old, who admitted he was tired after a long trip to South Africa this week. "I just can't make putts on these greens. I'm probably not as fresh as I was a couple of months before. Maybe I'll go and see the animals [in the nearby game park], get scared, and come back and play some golf."

Maybe a new caddie will help. Yesterday it was revealed that Fanny Sunesson, who split with Nick Faldo last month, will carry the young Spaniard's bag. Sunesson has agreed to work with Garcia at Tiger Woods' new tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona, from 29 December to 2 January.

Garcia will have to go some here if he is to catch the leaders which include the American John Huston The 15th ranked player in the world is lying joint third with Els after hitting a 67, including an eagle on the 10th. The defending champion, Nick Price, bidding for his fourth Million Dollar title and his third in a row, is joint fourth with England's Lee Westwood on four under par.

Jose Maria Olazabal, the US Masters champion, is a shot further behind. However, Olazabal's fellow Spaniard, Jimenez, had a disastrous round, hitting five bogeys to trail the elite 12-man field on four over par, four shots adrift of Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke.

MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE (Sun City, South Africa): First round scores: 65 P Lawrie (GB). 66 C Montgomerie (GB). 67 J Huston (US), E Els (SA). 68 L Westwood (GB), N Price (Zim). 69 J M Olazabal (Sp). 70 C Franco (Par), J Furyk (US). 71 S Garcia (Sp). 72 D Clarke (Irl). 76 M A Jiminez (Sp).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP SD OTC Consultant | 12Months

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP SD OTC Consultant | 12 Months | 500/...

Business Systems Analyst - London - £40,000 plus benefits

£35000 - £40000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Business Syst...

Campaign Manager

£40000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Campaign Man...

JQuery Developer (JQuery, C#, front-end, JQuery, UI, Tomcat)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organ...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil